How to open an international trust account

How to open an international trust account

An international trust account is a Schwab One® account established for a trust that is governed by a non-U.S. jurisdiction and/or has a foreign tax code. If these foreign elements do not apply, see How to open a trust account for establishing a domestic trust account.

International trust accounts have additional restrictions compared with domestic accounts, and some additional features may not be available.

For a list of important items to consider when opening international accounts, review the Guidelines for working with international accounts.

You can open an international trust account using DocuSign® or paper forms. 

To open an international trust account, you will need the following:

All accounts
  • A completed Schwab One International® Trust Account Application form
    • Limited Power of Attorney (Investment Advisor LPOA) - All Authorized agents must complete, sign, and date this form
    • Your firm name and master account
    • The trustee's, trustor's/grantor's/settlor's, trust protector's, and beneficiary's name Tooltip , home address, identification number Tooltip , birth date, telephone number(s), country of birth, citizenship status, country(ies) of citizenship, country of legal residence, business address, and business phone number
    • Trustee's and trust protector's employment status, employer, occupation, and mailing address (if different from home address)
    • If a trustee, trustor/grantor/settlor, or trust protector is affiliated with a member firm of an exchange or FINRA and Rule 3210 applies, a FINRA Rule 3210 Consent Letter
    • If a trustee, trustor/grantor/settlor, or beneficiary is a director, control person, or Rule 144 affiliate of a publicly held company, the name and trading symbol of the publicly held company
    • Adobe® Reader® or Adobe Acrobat® 7.0 or higher (download the latest version on the Adobe website)
  • Properly completed and signed Addendum for International Organization and Trust Accounts
  • An IRS Form W-8, dated within 60 days of all other documents (contact a tax advisor to identify which version of the form is required)
  • An International Account—Letter of Explanation (LOE) form, required for use of a U.S. address or an address outside the country of permanent residence, on either the account (including duplicate mailings) or IRS Form W-8, with a separate LOE completed by each person
  • Required trust information
  • A photocopy of the title page and signature page of the trust document. Do not submit a full trust document to Schwab unless requested to do so. Submitting this document may delay the account opening process.
  • Proof of identity: Each trustee, trustor/grantor/settlor, trust protector (if applicable), or beneficiary who is a foreign resident must provide Passport copies that include pages containing a photo, signature, and personal information (the name as it appears on the passport must match the relevant individual's name on the account).
    • Additional proof of identity documents may be accepted dependent on the individual's country of residence. Please contact your service team for more information.
  • Proof of residency: Each trustee, trustor/grantor/settlor, trust protector (if applicable), or beneficiary who is a foreign resident must provide one of the following:
    • Copy of their most recent utility bill, dated within 12 months of the application date
    • Financial statement, dated within 12 months of the application date
    • Home/rental statements, dated within 12 months of the application date
    • Government issued ID card, not expired

    Important: The name on the proof of residency document must match the proof of identity document and the application, and the address must match the application. Also, the date of issuance must be displayed.
In addition to the information above, the following may be required:
If an entity is listed as a trustee, trustor/grantor/settlor, trust protector, or beneficiary

Additional documentation is required.

Additional features

For additional features requested by the client:

Account opening method If using DocuSign to submit forms: 
  • 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 both text message (SMS) authentication and Knowledge Based Authentication (KBA) for DocuSign.

If any additional document provided is not in English, please provide a court-certified translation of the document, with a visible stamp/seal.

  1. Verify Schwab can support the account:
    • Review OFAC-prohibited jurisdictions Tooltip  to confirm that federal regulations permit Schwab to do business with the trust (based on the country of legal establishment) and the individuals associated with the account.
    • Review Schwab's policy for clients in international jurisdictions to confirm the international trust was established under the laws of a Schwab Permitted Jurisdiction.
  2. Confirm you have all the required account holder identity verification documents mentioned in the "What you'll need" section.
  3. Go to the forms library on Schwab Advisor Center and select the forms below. 
    • Schwab One International® Trust Account Application form
    • Limited Power of Attorney (Investment Advisor LPOA)—All authorized agents must complete, sign, and date this form
    • International Account – Letter of Explanation form, if account holders who reside overseas wish to establish a mailing address outside their resident country
    • Authorization to Purchase Offshore Investment Shares form, if the Sweep Fund feature is chosen as the account cash feature 
    • Options Trading and Margin Application, if applicable
  4. Complete all necessary fields and ensure all additional features the client requested have been added.
  5. To complete using DocuSign, see How to use DocuSign®.
  6. Alternatively, print the form(s) and obtain signatures from all account holders. Send the signed form(s) to your Schwab service team via a Schwab Advisor Center service request. Mail any notarized forms and original documents to your Schwab service team.

Once you have submitted your request:

  • Schwab may require further documentation and/or information after completing an initial review. Review does not guarantee approval of an account, and Schwab reserves the right to not open an account or to decline an account after it has been opened.
  • If you have questions about opening an international trust account, call your service team.

Go to the forms library on Schwab Advisor Center and select the forms below.


Form: Authorization to Purchase Offshore Investment Shares
Form: International Account – Letter of Explanation
Form: Addendum for International Organization and Trust Accounts
Form: Limited Power of Attorney (Investment Advisor LPOA)
Form: Options Trading and Margin Application
Form: Power of Attorney (Individual POA)

Form: Schwab One International® Trust Account Application
Form: W-8BEN Substitute Form for Individuals
Resource: Anti-Money Laundering Guidelines
Resource: Form W-8 overview and assistance
Resource: Guidelines for working with international accounts
Resource: Schwab's policy for clients in international jurisdictions
Resource: W8 Resource Center


Can ACH (MoneyLinkbe used to link Schwab One International accounts to accounts at U.S. financial institutions?
Yes. However, transfers can only be done through a U.S. affiliate bank.

Are there account features that are unavailable for international accounts? 
Yes. Bank Sweep, Schwab BillPay®, and Schwab Bank Investor Checking™ cannot be used with international accounts. ACH (MoneyLink) can be used, but transfers can be executed only through U.S. affiliates.

Since the Bank Sweep feature is not available for international accounts, where is cash pending investment placed?
The Schwab One Interest feature is the default cash investment product for international accounts. See the Cash Investments: Products at a Glance chart for an overview of the broad range of cash options available at Schwab.

How to add features to an account

How to establish a Schwab MoneyLink® profile

How to make role changes for personal and trust accounts

How to open a trust account

How to open an international individual or joint brokerage account

How to open an IRA for international clients/residents

Introduction to cash options and investments