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Vanguard Trusted Contact
Old 04-25-2018, 08:06 AM   #1
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Vanguard Trusted Contact

Is this new? I don't remember hearing about it before, and I know folks have talked about wishing there was a way to have something like this set up for parents.....

Act now to name a trusted contact

Did you know that you now have the ability to add a trusted contact to your account? By naming a trusted contact, you authorize Vanguard to communicate with that person if necessary and in the interest of protecting your account assets.

There are several reasons we may communicate with your trusted contact, including reasonable suspicion of:

Financial exploitation.*If we become concerned you are, or may become, a victim of fraud or exploitation, whether through deception or intimidation.

Diminished capacity.*If we become concerned you could be experiencing a mental or physical impairment—such as Alzheimer's disease or dementia—that has rendered you unable to protect your own interests.

A trusted contact should be a person you'd trust to provide an informed and objective assessment about your whereabouts, well-being, and health status. We may need to disclose certain account information to your trusted contact, but we'd only do so when relevant to verify this information.

Although you decide who to name as your trusted contact, we suggest someone who isn't authorized to transact on your account.

To name or update your trusted contact:

From the*My Accounts*menu, choose*Account Maintenance.

Select*Trusted Contact.
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Old 04-25-2018, 10:02 AM   #2
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Not seen that before and that is nice to know. Thanks for posting, I will definitely look into it.
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Old 04-25-2018, 11:33 AM   #3
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My attorney explained it to me differently. My attorney, as my Trusted Contact can act to fire/remove it a trustee if a beneficiary of the trust suspects they are not handling the trust with the best interest of the beneficiary in mind.
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Old 04-25-2018, 11:36 AM   #4
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What I posted above was Vanguard's verbiage, but maybe this is just for trust-owned accounts (my after tax brokerage account is titled in the name of my trust).
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Old 04-25-2018, 12:12 PM   #5
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This would not be a good idea IMO if the account-holder was single and had no family. One more opportunity to lose control of your assets on grounds of "diminished capacity".
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Old 04-29-2018, 08:09 PM   #6
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Schwab also now offers the trusted contact. They make it clear this is not the same as POA and the trusted contact can only discuss the account holders accounts, not actually take actions. There has been some form of this feature for a while on IRAs, to make it easier for them to locate beneficiaries at the death of the owner.
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Old 04-29-2018, 09:22 PM   #7
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Schwab also now offers the trusted contact. They make it clear this is not the same as POA and the trusted contact can only discuss the account holders accounts, not actually take actions. There has been some form of this feature for a while on IRAs, to make it easier for them to locate beneficiaries at the death of the owner.
yes, Schwab has had it for a while
it’s easier for them, especially when multiple beneficiaries are in different states to have a single point of contact. in our case, we had POA of MIL and FIL and were the executor for the estate... saves time for transferring since we knew current locations, etc and could relay info/forms and then let each beneficiary decide what to do with inherited accounts
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Old 04-30-2018, 05:23 AM   #8
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You must be ancient!

This is really to protect against things like elder abuse, at least that is part of the reason. I think this could also could be used when one becomes incompetent. It is an attempt to protect you, but could get in the way of things you want done.

Personally I'm trying to work out how best to handle things when we become much less competent.
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Old 04-30-2018, 07:32 AM   #9
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You must be ancient!

This is really to protect against things like elder abuse, at least that is part of the reason. I think this could also could be used when one becomes incompetent. It is an attempt to protect you, but could get in the way of things you want done.

Personally I'm trying to work out how best to handle things when we become much less competent.
I think Vanguard's algorithm pegged me as ancient and a potential victim--Flagship-level widow with no direct heirs, with one account owned by my trust. I always have acted older than my years!

I do think this is a good idea, in theory, at least in the way they framed it. It sounds like they do some sort of monitoring of accounts to be sure nothing wacky starts happening. And my mother died of dementia, so it's not out of the realm that it could happen to me.

I have to ponder who to make the trusted contact. Probably the same approach I took with my health care PoA--not choosing the person who'd most benefit from my plug being pulled.
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Old 04-30-2018, 07:35 AM   #10
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Just to add, my trust account was specifically set up so that if I become incapacitated my trustee can have access to funds for my care, which is probably another reason to not name the trustee as trusted contact.

(But I do trust my one sibling to do the right thing in all these cases. Mostly. Generally. In theory....)
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Old 04-30-2018, 08:36 AM   #11
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This would not be a good idea IMO if the account-holder was single and had no family. One more opportunity to lose control of your assets on grounds of "diminished capacity".
If the Trusted Contact has no control capabilities, I don't understand how informing someone who is trusted could provide an opportunity to lose control. It would help me if you could elaborate on your thoughts.
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Old 04-30-2018, 08:45 AM   #12
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If the Trusted Contact has no control capabilities, I don't understand how informing someone who is trusted could provide an opportunity to lose control. It would help me if you could elaborate on your thoughts.
"we suggest someone who isn't authorized to transact on your account."

I'm OP, not who you quoted above, but yes, my reading of this is that it's a person that Vanguard would contact if they suspect elder abuse or reduced capacities, not a person that would contact Vanguard saying that your capacities are reduced.
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Old 05-01-2018, 08:39 AM   #13
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If the Trusted Contact has no control capabilities, I don't understand how informing someone who is trusted could provide an opportunity to lose control. It would help me if you could elaborate on your thoughts.
I can see a scenario where Vanguard notices intended transactions in the account that however are not normal for the account. Vanguard calls Trusted Contact, who knows very little about investing. Trusted Contact, come to think of it, has sincerely noticed Account Holder struggling with memory a little bit. Now we have 2 parties making a case for incapacity. Next thing you know, in comes the state to "help". Even if this just results in an evaluation - nope, nope, nope.
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Old 05-01-2018, 07:49 PM   #14
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Its a new law- it went into effect Feb 1. Before that, due to privacy laws, if there wasn't someone authorized on the accounts we had to go through our compliance department and the to the police to help clients when we saw evidence of abuse or unusual spending patterns on the account. The trusted contact gives us permission to contact the person of your choice without fear of liability for privacy issues.
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Old 05-01-2018, 10:05 PM   #15
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I think I will seriously consider this. I am more concerned with me doing something stupid, maybe with a little help from someone that I should not be letting help, than I would be from mishathaway's concerns. My DD already has the keys to everything. She has my full confidence to properly handle all of my affairs and it would be good for her to get a heads up if Vanguard thought there might be something amiss.
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Old 05-01-2018, 10:39 PM   #16
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Fidelity has this too.

Trusted Contacts
A trusted contact is someone we can get in touch with in the event we're unable to reach you and we're concerned about your health, well-being, or welfare (due to exploitation, endangerment, or neglect).

What do I need to know?
Adding trusted contacts is optional. To add a contact, you'll need to know their phone number and physical address. An email address is helpful, but not required. We'll also ask for their relationship to you.
Your trusted contacts may be asked to share or validate information about you and/or your account(s), such as whether another person or entity has legal authority to act on your behalf or helps with decision-making rights (e.g., a holder of power of attorney [POA], legal guardian or conservator, executor, or trustee). Your trusted contacts will not have the ability to transact on your account(s). While we may share specific information about you with your trusted contacts, we will not grant them access to your account.
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Old 05-02-2018, 04:26 AM   #17
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Is this new? I don't remember hearing about it before, and I know folks have talked about wishing there was a way to have something like this set up for parents.....

Act now to name a trusted contact
Worth looking into. Thanks.
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Old 05-02-2018, 07:12 AM   #18
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I think I will seriously consider this. I am more concerned with me doing something stupid, maybe with a little help from someone that I should not be letting help, than I would be from mishathaway's concerns. My DD already has the keys to everything. She has my full confidence to properly handle all of my affairs and it would be good for her to get a heads up if Vanguard thought there might be something amiss.
As a widow with no children, I'm pretty sure I will be doing it. Though hopefully I still have a few years before it's really critical. :-)
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Old 05-03-2018, 09:55 AM   #19
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They have now nudged me again about this, so I'm wondering if this is a display of their algorithm that they use when they suspect something might be amiss, because I've been making lots of moves in my account (opening a Roth, converting some $$ from my IRA, screwing up the withholding thing and then moving money to the Roth to complete the conversion, etc). But I'm not losing my faculties, really!
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Old 05-03-2018, 11:12 AM   #20
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This just popped up on the Schwab account mgmt page .... reassuring to know that I can name 1 person for all 4 accounts there
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