How to convert accounts

How to convert accounts

An account holder may request to change the registration type of an account for various reasons.

You can use DocuSign® to submit the appropriate forms and documentation and convert eligible accounts from one registration type to another, while maintaining the same account number.

To make account type changes, you will need the following:

All accounts
  • Firm name and master account number
  • The Schwab account number(s) for which you are changing account types
  • The account holder's/trustee's name, legal address, birthdate, telephone numbers, citizenship, residency,  identification number Tooltip , employment status and occupation information
  • Adobe® Reader® or Adobe Acrobat® 7.0 or higher (download the latest version on the Adobe website)
In addition to the information above, the following information specific to the type of conversion may be required:
Foreign resident requirements
  • If any trustee, authorized individual, grantor, or entity control person has a foreign home/legal or mailing address:
    • Passport (to establish the client's identity)
    • Utility bill (to establish the client's foreign residency)
  • Foreign resident account holders, contact your Schwab service team for additional requirements
Convert to another personal account type
  • A completed Update Your Schwab or Schwab One Account form
  • If converting a joint account to another type of joint account or an individual account, a letter of authorization (LOA) signed by all account holders
  • If the primary Social Security number (SSN) or Taxpayer Identification number (TIN) on the existing account is different than that on the new registration requested, a new account must be opened
  • Account Application (Schwab One Personal Accounts)
Convert a custodial account or custodial IRA

When the minor reaches termination age, they may choose to either convert or distribute the account.

  • A completed account application for the account type to which you are converting.
  • Write the account number of the custodial account to be converted at the top of the application to avoid processing delays.
    • Schwab One Custodial Account Beneficiary Conversion Application
    • Account Application (Schwab One Trust Accounts)
    • Schwab Custodial IRA Account Reregistration Application
Distribute proceeds of custodial account

The former minor submits:

  • A signed and completed Custodial Account Beneficiary Disbursement Form.
  • A copy of his/her driver's license or state identification card.

Once the assets are distributed, the account is closed.

Convert a general brokerage account
  • A completed Update Your Schwab or Schwab One Account form
Convert to a trust account
  • A completed Account Application (Schwab One Trust Accounts)
    • See the application instructions for more information
    • General trust information—including the type of trust, trust name, and trust taxpayer identification number (TIN)
  • A copy of the required pages of the trust document or, for revocable trusts, the complete Certification of Trust
  • If converting to a business/non-personal trust, board meeting minutes for the appointment of the individual board member(s) who will act as trustee(s) or, a letter of authorization (LOA) containing the same information, signed by all board members (notarization not required)
  • If any trustee is an entity, a completed Supplemental Trust Account Application for Entity Trustees, for each entity trustee
Form completion method

If using DocuSign to submit forms:

  • Most Schwab forms are eligible for DocuSign. For a complete list of eligible, ineligible, and conditionally eligible forms, see How to use DocuSign®
  • For existing Schwab clients, a complete Schwab Advisor Center® profile with the account holder's current email address and mobile phone number
  • For new-to-Schwab clients, the email address, and a mobile phone number
  • All clients must use either Alliance Authentication (only available when starting the envelope within Schwab Advisor Center), or, both text message (SMS) authentication and Knowledge Based Authentication (KBA) for DocuSign (available in both Schwab Advisor Center and the DocuSign Console)

This process may be used to convert a personal account to a new eligible personal account type.

If submitting via DocuSign
  1. For details, see How to use DocuSign®.
  2. Select the Update Your Schwab or Schwab One® Account form*.
  3. Complete all applicable sections.
If submitting via Service Request
  1. Go to the Forms library on Schwab Advisor Center and select the Update Your Schwab or Schwab One® Account form.
  2. If you are converting a joint account to either an individual account or another type of joint account, all account holders must sign an LOA indicating they want to change the account type.
  3. Complete all necessary fields, print the form, and obtain all the account holders' dated signatures.
  4. Complete all personal account additional feature agreements or advisor authorizations to maintain existing access and functionality.
  5. Send the signed and dated form(s) to your Schwab service team via a Schwab Advisor Center service request.

This process may be used to convert a custodial account or custodial IRA to a new account type to remove the restriction on the account once the custodial beneficiary reaches the termination age.

  1. If the custodial beneficiary requests a full distribution instead of converting the account, a completed Custodial Account Beneficiary Disbursement Form signed by the beneficiary and a copy of his/her driver's license or state ID is needed.
  2. If converting an account, locate the account application in the Forms library on Schwab Advisor Center by searching for:
    1. Personal brokerage account Schwab One Custodial Account Beneficiary Conversion Application
    2. IRA and Roth IRA accounts 
    3. Schwab Custodial IRA Account Reregistration Application 
  3. Complete all additional feature agreements or advisor authorizations to maintain existing access and functionality for retirement and non-retirement accounts.
  4. If converting to a trust account, the custodial beneficiary must sign an LOA acknowledging the change in beneficial ownership.

One of these processes may be used to convert a general brokerage Tooltip account to an identically registered Schwab One personal account.

If submitting via DocuSign
  1. For details, see How to use DocuSign®.
  2. Select the Update Your Schwab or Schwab One® Account form*.
  3. Complete all applicable sections.
If submitting via Service Request
  1. Go to the Forms library on Schwab Advisor Center and select the Update Your Schwab or Schwab One® Account form*.
  2. Complete all necessary fields, print the form, and obtain the appropriate account holder signature(s).
  3. Send the signed form to your Schwab service team via a Schwab Advisor Center service request.

* Any options, authorizations, agreements, and designations you select in this form will supersede any designations previously made in your general brokerage account.

One of these processes may be used to convert to a Schwab One trust account. Converting a managed account to a trust registration may require additional documentation. Contact the Managed Account Service Team at 877-673-7969 or via a Schwab Advisor Center service request for more information.

If the primary Social Security number or TIN on the existing account is different from the number for the new trust registration, the account is not eligible for conversion. Instead, you must establish a new trust account and journal the assets. Refer to How to open a trust account for more information.

If submitting via DocuSign
  1. If completing forms using DocuSign, see How to use DocuSign®.
  2. Select the Open Account – Schwab One Trust Account form.
  3. Complete all applicable sections.
If submitting via Service Request
  1. In the Forms library on Schwab Advisor Center, select Open Account – Schwab One Trust Account.
  2. If any trustee is an entity, complete one Supplemental Trust Account Application for Entity Trustees in its entirety, for each entity trustee.
  3. If converting to a tenants in common account and the tenants are trusts:
    • Contact your service team for the Supplemental Trust Account Application for Trusts as Tenants in Common, which will include a reference ID number.
    • Provide a completed Schwab One Account Application for Trust Accounts for each trust. Write the reference ID number on the first page of each application and the trust documentation submitted for each trust.
  4. If the account to be converted has asset-based pricing and/or a Prime Broker, all parties must sign the Asset-Based Pricing Addendum and/or Prime Brokerage Amendment (Account Holder), as applicable, to maintain the account's existing features.
  5. If you are removing an account holder(s) during conversion, all parties must sign an LOA stating who is remaining on the account and who is being removed.
  6. If the account is currently linked to a Schwab Bank Investor CheckingTM (IC) account, all parties must sign the Schwab Bank: Add Schwab Bank IC to your Schwab One Trust Account form.
    • Existing account holders can be removed from the IC account only at death.
    • Community property accounts with linked IC accounts cannot be converted to living trust accounts.
  7. Complete all trust account additional feature agreements or advisor authorizations to maintain existing access and functionality.
  8. Print the form(s) and obtain dated signatures from each trustee.
  9. If the trust is not a revocable trust where the grantor(s) and trustee(s) are the same individuals, the application must be notarized.
  10. Send the signed form(s) to your Schwab service team via a Schwab Advisor Center service request.

Once you submit your request:

  • The request will be reviewed and processed by your service team.
  • If converting using DocuSign, see the What's next? section of How to use DocuSign.
  • If you have any questions about the conversion process, contact your Schwab service team.

To access any forms listed below, go to the Forms library on Schwab Advisor Center and do a search for:

Form: Account Application (Schwab One Trust Accounts)
Form: Prime Brokerage Amendment (Account Holder)
Form: Schwab Bank: Add Schwab Bank Investor Checking to your Schwab One Trust Account
Form: Supplemental Trust Account Application for Entity Trustees
Form: Update Your Schwab or Schwab One Account

Are custodians notified before the custodial account termination date?
Yes. Notifications are sent to custodians and investment advisors 90 days and 30 days prior to the termination date. These notifications provide custodians with time to prepare the beneficiary for managing the assets and include helpful resources including, custodian and beneficiary worksheets that contain key information, dates, and action steps.

What laws govern custodial accounts?
There are two types of model laws (Uniform Transfers to Minors Act and Uniform Gifts to Minors Act) governing custodial accounts that were adopted, with variations, throughout the United States and some of the territories (but not the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico). The applicable law (including local variations) may vary, and the custodian is responsible for adhering to whichever law applies. Consult your state and local laws for your situation. Schwab does not provide tax advice. For further information, seek professional counsel. 

When an account is converted to another account type, can you still access the account history?
Yes. Clients can access up to 10 years of history.

Are there any features that were available in a general brokerage account that are not available on a Schwab One account?
No. All features available in general brokerage accounts are included in Schwab One accounts.

How to add features to an account
How to add a power of attorney to an account
How to close or delink accounts
How to establish a Schwab MoneyLink® profile
How to open a custodial IRA
How to open a personal brokerage account
How to open a Roth IRA
How to open a traditional IRA
How to open a trust account
How to use DocuSign®
Introduction to custodial accounts
Introduction to custodial IRAs