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Inherited Ameriprise Accounts
Old 11-08-2013, 12:34 PM   #1
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Inherited Ameriprise Accounts

I have inherited part of my father's investment and IRA accounts at Ameriprise. My portion is 40K investment and 10K IRA. Ameriprise has informed me that my only option is to have Ameriprise accounts created in my name---one for the investment and one for the IRA.

The charges for the accounts will be $20 per month for the investment account and $40 per year for the IRA.

Does anyone have any advice on working with Ameriprise? Is there any reason I should NOT send back the paperwork to have these accounts created?

I think I will want to move this money soon, so Ameriprise is going to get back to me to let me know if there is a charge for closing these accounts. Is there a way to avoid fees for closing these accounts?
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Old 11-08-2013, 12:38 PM   #2
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Note that to preserve the benefits of an inherited IRA it must not be retitled simply into your name, but rather must also include the name of the original IRA holder using certain specific wording (which you can find online).

Many firms will not charge you annual fees for such accounts. It may be worth transferring the accounts there. Note that transferring an inherited IRA before it has been properly retitled may require special handling.
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Old 11-08-2013, 12:49 PM   #3
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You are allowed a direct rollover transfer, and may not change the titling of the account. It must not be retitled to your name, or you will owe taxes on the whole thing. But you do NOT have to keep it at Ameriprise.

The investment account you should have no issues moving.
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Old 11-08-2013, 12:50 PM   #4
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Do a search here for "Ameriprise". They have a few unhappy former customers hereabouts.
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Old 11-08-2013, 01:12 PM   #5
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Is there a way to avoid fees for closing these accounts?
I would call Vanguard, Fidelity, or whoever I might want to place these accounts with and ask their advice. I would be leery of letting Ameriprise get their tentacles around them if I opened my own account there for them.
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Old 11-08-2013, 01:40 PM   #6
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I would call Vanguard, Fidelity, or whoever I might want to place these accounts with and ask their advice. I would be leery of letting Ameriprise get their tentacles around them if I opened my own account there for them.
+1

Get away far, far away from these guys. Go to Vanguard, Fidelity, or Schwab. The initial fees there talking about are silly, just wait for the real fun, like a 6% trailing sales fee.

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Old 11-08-2013, 02:23 PM   #7
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Last year my friend inherited a brokerage and an IRA from his mother after she passed away. She had the accounts with Morgan Stanley and they titled them appropriately after splitting its proceeds equally between my friend and his sister. With my advice and assistance, he transferred them to Fidelity which reimbursed him for the account transfer fees levied by MS. He pays no annual fees and even received a cash bonus from Fidelity for each account because they were large (IRA was around $100k and the brokerage was about $300k).

Delaney, you should not have to pay monthly or annual fees on either account.
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Old 11-08-2013, 02:55 PM   #8
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Delaney, thanks for posting your questions. I will someday be faced with a very similar situation with Ameriprise. Sister and I are beneficiaries on Dad's Ameriprise holdings. Holdings consist of a small IRA and some life insurance but the biggest chunk is in about 10-12 individual stocks such as Coca-cola, Home Depot, etc. Roughly $1.2MM

I am also wondering what will happen when we want to transfer these assets away from Ameriprise. Can you transfer stocks from Ameriprise over to say Vanguard without selling them, or being stuck with some kind of outrageous fees? Does Vanguard charge the same type of fees as Ameriprise to hold these stocks?

In my case if Ameriprise is getting a % of the stock value it is a true waste of money as I doubt Dad has bought or sold anything in 10 years.

I am just wondering what kind of problems I will encounter when the time comes to settle up the estate with Ameriprise.
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Old 11-08-2013, 03:02 PM   #9
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When transferring an account between brokerages, to keep the holdings as is (no sales) be sure to specify an "in kind" transfer. The only time a sale becomes necessary during a transfer is when the receiving brokerage does not allow its clients to buy/sell/hold an asset; it's not common but can happen with certain mutual funds. If you send the receiving broker a list of holdings, they will tell you in advance if any would need to be sold as part of the transfer.
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Old 11-08-2013, 04:37 PM   #10
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Tom52,

Not sure how Ameriprise makes money off of equities. Traditionally it's just trading fees(my experience is with Fidelity and Schwab).

Not sure about accout fees etc. Fidelity/Schwab don't charge. Ameriprise may charge them based on account values.

With equities you can do a tranfer in kind, not have to cash out if you don't want to. As mentioned it's typically funds where there may be issues.

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Old 11-08-2013, 04:38 PM   #11
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As GreyHare wrote, it is imprtant to check beforehand to make sure all the assets held can be trasferred cleanly to the receiving institution. With my friend's inheritance last year, we showed the long list of stocks, bonds, CDs, and mutual funds to his (and mine) Account Executive at Fidelity. Off the top of his head, he knew that all the stocks, bonds, and CDs (and cash) were fine. He wasn't sure about some of the non-Fidelity mutual funds but after some quick checking he saw that they were fine, too. So everythng transferred without having to liquidate anything.

Tom52, my dad has an account with Ameriprise so when the time unfortunately comes for me and my brother to inherit its proceeds, I am quite sure there won't be any problems if I use Fidelity as the receiving institution.
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Old 11-08-2013, 05:14 PM   #12
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Thank you so much for the input.

I have read through the other Ameriprise posts and that's why I'm trying to be careful before I sign anything. One post mentioned paying $500 to move a $5,500 IRA and MANY posters mention problems getting away from Ameriprise.

When I talked to my contact today, first she said closing account fees would apply, but then when I complained, she said there would be no charges if I close the accounts within 6 months.

The IRA will be transferred to an account linked to my Father's name, so I will need to make sure it is transferred correctly and that I take out the minimum distribution (RMD). They did tell me that my father has already taken the RMD for this year.

The investment includes individual stocks and mutual funds, so I will transfer those funds in-kind--hopefully that won't be an issue.

I have a friend who is a financial advisor, so I have worked with her in the past on investments, but for this I think I am going to contact Vanguard.

Thanks again for all the help.
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Old 11-08-2013, 05:28 PM   #13
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I also inherited part of an IRA and some cash. The deceased had their accounts at Fidelity. The executor made all heirs open accounts at Fidelity so that Fidelity could make it easy for the executor. I had no problem with that (my 401(k) is at Fidelity).

But there was no reason to keep any of my inherited money at Fidelity, so I moved them to WellsFargo which is my main broker. The newly opened Fidelity account values are now at $0.00 since I transferred the money out and I don't want to close them because of the $50 per account fee that Fidelity charges. But now that the money is out of Fidelity, I don't see any reason to add money back there right now.

So I can see that going from Ameriprise to Ameriprise would be "forced" on one because it is easy, but there is absolutely every reason to move the inheritance out of there as soon as possible even if there are account closure fees to do so.

Can you save the fees? Ask the executor of the estate.
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Old 11-08-2013, 06:00 PM   #14
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Brokerage Fees | Ameriprise Financial
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Old 11-09-2013, 08:04 AM   #15
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....The newly opened Fidelity account values are now at $0.00 since I transferred the money out and I don't want to close them because of the $50 per account fee that Fidelity charges. But now that the money is out of Fidelity, I don't see any reason to add money back there right now....
So Fidelity will service your $0.00 account every month/quarter (not much to do of course) rather than close it out FOR you?...doesn't seem real cost effective...

Just curious...
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Old 11-09-2013, 08:06 AM   #16
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I'm not going to ask them. But I do have a 401(k) and DAF with them, so they are making money off of me.
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Old 11-09-2013, 08:57 AM   #17
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So Fidelity will service your $0.00 account every month/quarter (not much to do of course) rather than close it out FOR you?...doesn't seem real cost effective...

Just curious...
There's overhead involved with account closures, i.e. sombody has to do it, then the regulatory reporting. With a zero balance, it's not costing Fidelity much(a little disk), and you might put money back in it.

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Old 11-09-2013, 09:30 AM   #18
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With my friend and his inherited account, one reason the outgoing account at Morgan Stanley was kept open for a few months after we did the transfer to Fidelity was because there were a few dribs and drabs of dividends and interest which went into the MS account and had to be swept out of there and into the Fidelity account. Fidelity made several "pulls" from the MS account in the next few months until everything was all gone. MS, of course, knew to keep the account open for a little longer to allow this, just as they would expect another institution to keep their accounts open if MS were on the receiving end.
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Old 11-09-2013, 11:55 AM   #19
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The IRA will be transferred to an account linked to my Father's name, so I will need to make sure it is transferred correctly and that I take out the minimum distribution (RMD). They did tell me that my father has already taken the RMD for this year.
If I am reading this correctly, it sounds as if you will be merging the one inherited IRA account with another account related to your father and that would seem to me to be very risky and I would check this out with a tax attorney or knowledgeable CPA before doing so.
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