Anyone receive and inheritance from Vanguard?

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PatrickA5
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Anyone receive and inheritance from Vanguard?

Post by PatrickA5 »

DW and SIL will most likely receive an inheritance from VG in the $250K range from recently deceased FIL. I went out to the website and started reading up on the process and we even started inputting the required information before the system went down. Tried to call, but got a lengthy hold. Will try again later.

These are non-retirement accounts.

Anyway, does anybody have experience with this process? How did it go?

Do you set up VG accounts before they move the funds or does VG do that for you?

How long did the process take until you saw the funds in your own account?

Do both beneficiaries have to report the death, or can one do it for both? SIL has no clue on anything financial.

I assume they will automatically just split the mutual funds in two - one for each beneficiary?

Any problems, hiccups we should be looking out for?

Thanks.
Makefile
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Re: Anyone receive and inheritance from Vanguard?

Post by Makefile »

If it's a TOD account it should work as you describe. If not, the will determines what happens and the beneficiaries don't have the authority to distribute the account to themselves.
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CAsage
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Re: Anyone receive and inheritance from Vanguard?

Post by CAsage »

For a regular Vanguard account TOD to people - yes it was pretty seamless. My sibling and inherited from Dear Departed Parent a few years ago. Once we provided a death cert and we both had Vanguard accounts, it was quick. I would open an account now if you don't have one. I don't remember whether we provided one or two death certs, but I think one original and then copies would be fine. It was painless. I seem to recall they just split the one Total Bond fund in two for us. Then do as you please. They probably have a whole department that does this....
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Dave55
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Re: Anyone receive and inheritance from Vanguard?

Post by Dave55 »

PatrickA5 wrote: Tue Jan 24, 2023 4:26 pm DW and SIL will most likely receive an inheritance from VG in the $250K range from recently deceased FIL. I went out to the website and started reading up on the process and we even started inputting the required information before the system went down. Tried to call, but got a lengthy hold. Will try again later.

These are non-retirement accounts.

Anyway, does anybody have experience with this process? How did it go? Yes, went smoothly.

Do you set up VG accounts before they move the funds or does VG do that for you? VG does it for you, we did it after the death.

How long did the process take until you saw the funds in your own account? Within 1 week

Do both beneficiaries have to report the death, or can one do it for both? SIL has no clue on anything financial. If I recall, one death certificate was all that was needed for my siblings and self.

I assume they will automatically just split the mutual funds in two - one for each beneficiary? Yes

Any problems, hiccups we should be looking out for? We had none.

Thanks.
Dave
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jebmke
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Re: Anyone receive and inheritance from Vanguard?

Post by jebmke »

My wife received one. It went flawlessly and almost instantly. VG to VG.
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miket29
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Re: Anyone receive and inheritance from Vanguard?

Post by miket29 »

Were they ordinary brokerage accounts or brokerage accounts held by a revocable trust? Did the accounts have beneficiaries listed which would make them TOD (transfer on death) accounts? If not held by a trust and/nor not having beneficiaries listed, does a will exist?

Different things happen in these 3 scenarios.
2behappytoday
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Re: Anyone receive and inheritance from Vanguard?

Post by 2behappytoday »

My inheritance experience 11 months ago was easy and painless; deceased's two mutual funds were TOD, split 50:50 between me and sibling. I did everything online, including setting up my own brokerage account and uploading the death certificate. The funds were in my account in three business days, although website said to expect it to take 7-10 business days to be transferred. Again online, I exchanged to the fund I wanted, defined my primary and contingent beneficiaries and was done. I advised sibling to do the same and experience was also smooth and quick - I do not know if the death certificate had to be uploaded again.
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chickadee
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Re: Anyone receive and inheritance from Vanguard?

Post by chickadee »

I’ll give you a pro tip. When navigating the phone tree, they will give you a choice of trust or no trust. Choose trust, even if it’s not in a trust. The folks that staff that team are a cut above the general inheritance line. A Vanguard person actually gave me this tip when I was getting stuck in low level hell with multiple calls and everyone giving different answers to the same questions.
Last edited by chickadee on Tue Jan 24, 2023 5:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Topic Author
PatrickA5
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Re: Anyone receive and inheritance from Vanguard?

Post by PatrickA5 »

miket29 wrote: Tue Jan 24, 2023 4:47 pm Were they ordinary brokerage accounts or brokerage accounts held by a revocable trust? Did the accounts have beneficiaries listed which would make them TOD (transfer on death) accounts? If not held by a trust and/nor not having beneficiaries listed, does a will exist?

Different things happen in these 3 scenarios.
I've found one piece of paper that show DW and SIL as beneficiaries from about 6 months ago. He is leaving his wife the VG IRA. I'm pretty sure his wife isn't on the taxable account, but won't know for sure until we officially see what he has. The account in question is just an ordinary brokerage account with 3 mutual funds.
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chickadee
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Re: Anyone receive and inheritance from Vanguard?

Post by chickadee »

If an account doesn’t have a TOD or beneficiary explicitly listed, the disposition is governed by the will. Beneficiaries always trump the will as well.
Last edited by chickadee on Tue Jan 24, 2023 5:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Topic Author
PatrickA5
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Re: Anyone receive and inheritance from Vanguard?

Post by PatrickA5 »

2behappytoday wrote: Tue Jan 24, 2023 4:57 pm My inheritance experience 11 months ago was easy and painless; deceased's two mutual funds were TOD, split 50:50 between me and sibling. I did everything online, including setting up my own brokerage account and uploading the death certificate. The funds were in my account in three business days, although website said to expect it to take 7-10 business days to be transferred. Again online, I exchanged to the fund I wanted, defined my primary and contingent beneficiaries and was done. I advised sibling to do the same and experience was also smooth and quick - I do not know if the death certificate had to be uploaded again.
Would it be best to have the account set up as joint (me/DW) before the process or just change it to joint afterward?

PS. all of our money (other than IRAs) are joint - including inheritances.
Topic Author
PatrickA5
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Re: Anyone receive and inheritance from Vanguard?

Post by PatrickA5 »

chickadee wrote: Tue Jan 24, 2023 5:03 pm If an account doesn’t have a TOD or beneficiary explicitly listed, the disposition is governed by the will.
Right. We're hoping they are TOD, but it doesn't show any beneficiary information on the monthly statements he got. I have no online access to look at.
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chickadee
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Re: Anyone receive and inheritance from Vanguard?

Post by chickadee »

I’m pretty sure the inheritance must be a solo account. You could perhaps move the money to a joint account or to another brokerage in a second step.

Vanguard has a step by step process. Seems like if there’s a TOD on the account, that’s apparent in the “wizard” tool. How far can get you get with it? It’s been a few months since I used it.

https://investor.vanguard.com/inheriting-accounts

Sibling also has to go through same steps, but once the death certificate is attached to Dad’s account, I don’t think they ask for it again. No big deal if they do, just make a high resolution PDF of it.

Who is the executor? DW?
Last edited by chickadee on Tue Jan 24, 2023 5:11 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Topic Author
PatrickA5
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Re: Anyone receive and inheritance from Vanguard?

Post by PatrickA5 »

2behappytoday wrote: Tue Jan 24, 2023 4:57 pm My inheritance experience 11 months ago was easy and painless; deceased's two mutual funds were TOD, split 50:50 between me and sibling. I did everything online, including setting up my own brokerage account and uploading the death certificate. The funds were in my account in three business days, although website said to expect it to take 7-10 business days to be transferred. Again online, I exchanged to the fund I wanted, defined my primary and contingent beneficiaries and was done. I advised sibling to do the same and experience was also smooth and quick - I do not know if the death certificate had to be uploaded again.

Thanks.
Did your sibling also have to go through the online process that you did?
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PatrickA5
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Re: Anyone receive and inheritance from Vanguard?

Post by PatrickA5 »

chickadee wrote: Tue Jan 24, 2023 5:06 pm I’m pretty sure the inheritance must be a solo account. You could perhaps move the money to a joint account or to another brokerage in a second step.
Thanks. Yeah, probably better not to muddy up the waters too much by trying to have the money go to a joint account.
2behappytoday
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Re: Anyone receive and inheritance from Vanguard?

Post by 2behappytoday »

Yes, my sibling used the same online process. I have verified that it was not necessary for the death certificate to be uploaded again. Sibling holds all investments at Fidelity so converted the Vanguard mutual funds to equivalent ETFs and had Fidelity pull the Vanguard holdings over.
UNCHEEL
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Re: Anyone receive and inheritance from Vanguard?

Post by UNCHEEL »

I haven't been through this (yet) at Vanguard, but other brokerages have specialized group to manage estates. For simplicity, make sure they adjust the cost basis for the assets before they move. (You can sell the assets and move cash, or move the assets themselves.) On some assets I moved INTO VG from Wells Fargo, WF had reset the stocks, but not the bonds. After the transfer, VG wouldn't change the basis. I was given the option of moving the bonds BACK to WF, getting the basis changed there, and then bringing them over again. I ended up leaving things as they were and manually making the correction each time a bond was sold/called. Silly nuisance. Fortunately, the IRS didn't raise an issue.
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Re: Anyone receive and inheritance from Vanguard?

Post by Big Dog »

chickadee wrote: Tue Jan 24, 2023 5:06 pm I’m pretty sure the inheritance must be a solo account. You could perhaps move the money to a joint account or to another brokerage in a second step.

Vanguard has a step by step process. Seems like if there’s a TOD on the account, that’s apparent in the “wizard” tool. How far can get you get with it? It’s been a few months since I used it.

https://investor.vanguard.com/inheriting-accounts

Sibling also has to go through same steps, but once the death certificate is attached to Dad’s account, I don’t think they ask for it again. No big deal if they do, just make a high resolution PDF of it.

Who is the executor? DW?
When my mom passed, a few years back, the Vanguard inheritance folks were great. I had an exisiing account but my sister did not, so they had her call and they completed the application form while she was on the phone. They then mailed it to her for original signature. I don't recall if they put the brokerage account stuff into my Joint account, (or a solo account which I then consolidated), but the inherited IRA went into my name only.

CA is not very quick with death certs, so all account info was ready to go when we finally got the certified death cert, which I mailed in. It took ~3 business days from receipt of the death cert to move 50% of mom's balance into my accounts. They even got the correct cost basis on date of death.
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