One important aspect of personal finance is answering the question: “What happens to my financial assets when I die?” Making those arrangements is simply a part of being a mature adult. Just like you draw up a will to pass on your superhero Pez collection or your fully restored 1967 candy-apple-red convertible Corvette, you can designate a beneficiary for your Scottrade account to ensure your assets are handled as you wish when you pass away. They make it incredibly easy for your heirs and it gives me a small level of comfort knowing my wife and children won’t have much to go through to access those assets if and when the time comes.
If you have a certain type of account with Scottrade such as:
- Tenants in common
- Joint tenants with rights of survivorship
You can complete a Transfer on Death Beneficiary Plan Agreement to designate your Scottrade account beneficiary or beneficiaries. Alternatively, if you hold an individual retirement account such as an IRA, you can simply update your IRA Beneficiary Form. Designating a beneficiary is a protection mechanism, insuring that your assets go to those you wish.
To protect your assets by designating a beneficiary:
- Complete the Transfer on Death Beneficiary Plan Agreement, found in the Forms Center online. It’s generally a good idea to designate a secondary (contingent) beneficiary in addition to your primary beneficiary.
- Mail it to your local branch office.
- Talk to your beneficiaries. It’s important that your heirs know they are your beneficiaries and know what to do when you pass away.
How does Scottrade succession planning work?
When a Scottrade customer passes away, it is the responsibility of the customer’s survivors to contact Scottrade and provide a copy of the customer’s death certificate. When the certificate is received, Scottrade will cancel any open orders on the account. If the customer’s beneficiaries have their own Scottrade accounts, they can move the assets directly into their own accounts using the Transfer on Death Distribution Form (found online). If the beneficiaries aren’t current Scottrade customers, they will need to open a new account before any assets can be transferred.
If you have any questions about succession planning, you can always contact your local branch office – one of the best aspects of having a Scottrade account! Your local branch office can help you with any aspect of your account and it really is a differentiator. No other online brokerage offers the numbers of local branch offices as Scottrade.