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Transferring an Inherited Brokerage Account
Old 02-04-2023, 08:29 AM   #1
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Transferring an Inherited Brokerage Account

I have recently inherited a brokerage account consisting largely of individual stocks, and a few mutual funds valued at ~ $300,000. It is currently held at Wells Fargo Advisors. I intend to transfer it to Vanguard. Is it better to liquidate the funds and transfer cash, or transfer the assets directly? Or is it moot because the stepped up basis pertains to either case? I do not intend to withdraw a large amount from that account in 2023 or 2024.
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Old 02-04-2023, 09:08 AM   #2
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I would transfer it in-kind and then sell after it get over to Vangard. Commissions on the sale will be much lower than Wells Fargo.
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Old 02-04-2023, 09:32 AM   #3
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Is the WF Advisors account one that has an AUM based fee with no commission on trades? If so, when is the next quarterly fee due? Are all the assets publicly traded and could they be moved in-kind to Vanguard? You should ask them these questions before making a decision.

If it turns out that it costs the same no matter where you sell, then do the selling at WF and move the cash to Vanguard. Otherwise, sell only the non-public investments, if any, at WF and move everything else to Vanguard.
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Old 02-05-2023, 03:34 PM   #4
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Most brokerages make you setup an account with them to receive any inherited account holdings.

I bet WF does the same.

But then I'd transfer in-kind if possible.
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Old 02-05-2023, 03:46 PM   #5
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I'm helping DD move her Roth containing CDs at Ally Bank to Schwab. We had to open a Roth at Schwab to set up the transfer. The funds will be transferred later this month on the maturity dates of the CDs.
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Old 02-05-2023, 06:10 PM   #6
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Twice I helped my (snake-bit) friend move brokerage accounts from one company to Fidelity, where he was consolidating his holdings. Some were inherited accounts, some were now. Everything went in-kind, without liquidating anything. Except for one little thing from one financial company: That company did not allow fractional shares to be transferred, whether it was stocks or mutual finds. The company first liquidated the fractional shares then transferred its proceeds along with the small cash accounts within the overall portfolios. It was a minor nuisance reporting all these tiny sales on Form 8949 the following year on his income tax returns.
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Old 02-05-2023, 09:01 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lem1955 View Post
I have recently inherited a brokerage account consisting largely of individual stocks, and a few mutual funds valued at ~ $300,000. It is currently held at Wells Fargo Advisors. I intend to transfer it to Vanguard. Is it better to liquidate the funds and transfer cash, or transfer the assets directly? Or is it moot because the stepped up basis pertains to either case? I do not intend to withdraw a large amount from that account in 2023 or 2024.
Not sure that it matters much because of stepped up basis, but I would avoid Vanguard... their customer service has become really poor... so poor that I have moved all my business and most of my family's business away from Vanguard.

If you like the individual stocks in the portfolio then transfer in kind, otherwise you can cash out and transfer (I assume this a taxable account).

Go with Schwab, they have a Burlington office if you ever need to go there. I have an account with Schwab in FL and when I call my person she actually answers the phone... refreshing!

Or alternatively, if the WFA fees are not too much you could leave it there. IIRC they have an office in St. J.
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Old 02-06-2023, 06:13 AM   #8
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I would transfer it in-kind and then sell after it get over to Vangard. Commissions on the sale will be much lower than Wells Fargo.
Agreed, and I would like to emphasize selling it after the in-kind transfer is done. My father was an accountant, and he spent a lot of his retirement researching investments and building his own portfolio, which is part of why I kept his investments after he passed. Looking back, I wish I had sold them after the stepped-up basis and dumped the cash into my planned asset allocation.
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Old 02-06-2023, 09:24 AM   #9
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Not sure that it matters much because of stepped up basis, but I would avoid Vanguard... their customer service has become really poor... so poor that I have moved all my business and most of my family's business away from Vanguard.

If you like the individual stocks in the portfolio then transfer in kind, otherwise you can cash out and transfer (I assume this a taxable account).

Go with Schwab, they have a Burlington office if you ever need to go there. I have an account with Schwab in FL and when I call my person she actually answers the phone... refreshing!

Or alternatively, if the WFA fees are not too much you could leave it there. IIRC they have an office in St. J.
+1

We're in the process of DW's inheritance at VG. Hopefully, we'll see the money sometime this decade. I plan on selling the mutual funds and transferring the cash to Fidelity ASAP.

It sounds like you've been happy with Schwab? I might move our taxable assets there sometime in the future.
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Old 02-06-2023, 09:54 AM   #10
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Another +1 on pb4's post....


I would only keep the individual stocks if I though they were the right ones to own for ME... as someone else mentioned, you might have to move to a WF account in your name first and then to where ever you want to end up..



I am in the process of moving my 401(k) and I am choosing Schwab... and I have never used Schwab before but after talking to people at Fidelity and Schwab, Schwab was better... if I do not like them in a year or so I can always move again... but to me I would not move to Vanguard.. I only have Vanguard right now because I am lazy to move what I have there...
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