Estate Planning 101

How to Transfer a Vanguard Brokerage Accounts into a Trust

Safeguard your assets and secure your financial future with our step-by-step guide on how to transfer your Vanguard brokerage accounts into a trust. Our blog post will provide you with easy to follow instructions and helpful tips to simplify this process.
February 4, 2024

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A trust is a legal entity that holds and manages assets for the benefit of certain other persons or entities, known as beneficiaries. If you have a Vanguard brokerage account, you may consider transferring it into a trust as part of your estate planning. This step ensures that your assets are administered according to your wishes. Here's a comprehensive guide on how to transfer a Vanguard brokerage account into a trust.

Understanding the Transfer Process

The process involves changing the title of the account from an individual's name to the trust's name. This requires certain documents, including the trust agreement and the trustee's identification information, and completion of specific forms provided by Vanguard.

Step-by-Step Guide on Transferring a Vanguard Brokerage Account into a Trust

  1. Set up the Trust: Before you can transfer your brokerage account, you need to have a trust in place. Depending on your situation, you can set up a trust through online platforms or consult an attorney for more complex cases.
  2. Prepare the necessary documents: Once the trust is established, gather the required documents. These typically include a certified copy of the trust agreement, a document that proves the trustee's authority, and identification documents.
  3. Contact Vanguard: Next, reach out to Vanguard to notify them of your intention to transfer your brokerage account into the trust. You can do this by phone or by visiting the Vanguard website. Vanguard's customer service number is 1-877-662-7447, available on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Eastern time.
  4. Complete the required forms: Vanguard will provide you with the necessary forms to complete the transfer. Make sure to fill out these forms accurately and completely.
  5. Verify the transfer and update account details: Once the forms are submitted and processed, Vanguard will transfer the ownership of the account to the trust. It's important to update your account information and ensure everything is correct.

Tips and Precautions

Here are a few tips to facilitate a smooth transfer:

  1. Ensure all information in your trust document is accurate and current.
  2. Retain copies of all documents and forms submitted to Vanguard.
  3. Make sure the trust has a Tax Identification Number (TIN), which is necessary for tax matters.

Remember, transferring a brokerage account into a trust means the account is owned by the trust, not the individual. Always seek advice from a legal or financial expert to understand the implications.

Vanguard's Role in the Transfer Process

Vanguard is dedicated to assisting its clients throughout the transfer process. The company's representatives can guide you through the steps, provide necessary forms and documentation, and offer resources on trust management and estate planning to help you make informed decisions.


Transferring a Vanguard brokerage account into a trust is an important part of managing your financial assets. It provides a mechanism to ensure your wealth is distributed according to your wishes and offers a sense of financial security for the future. Always consult with a professional advisor during this process to avoid any potential legal or financial issues. Secure your financial legacy today by taking the first step in this crucial process.