How to open a Conservatorship or Guardianship account

How to open a Conservatorship or Guardianship account 

A Conservatorship account is an account established by a court-appointed conservator to manage the assets of typically an adult person (ward) legally found incapable of managing his or her own estate. The court may appoint multiple conservators to manage the estate.

ConservatorshipWard=Adult

A Guardianship account is an account established by a court-appointed guardian to manage the estate of typically a minor (ward) until the minor reaches the age of majority or is deceased, whichever occurs sooner. In some states, guardians are also appointed for incapacitated adults. A guardianship account can have multiple guardians. When the ward reaches the age of majority, Schwab distributes the guardianship assets to the ward upon receiving a court order to distribute.

GuardianshipWard=Minor

To open a new account or convert an existing account to a conservatorship/guardianship, the following are required:

All accounts
  • A completed Account Application (Schwab One Personal Accounts) or IRA Application depending on the account type.
    • The account holder's, custodian's, guardian's, or conservator's:
      • Name
      • Home address
      • Identification number
      • Birth date
      • Telephone numbers
      • Citizenship status
      • Employment status
      • Employer
      • Occupation
      • Business address, and
      • Business phone number
    • Your firm name and master account number.
    • Source of funds in account, purpose of account, and the anticipated checking activity (if the Schwab One® checking feature is elected by the client).
    • If the account holder, custodian, guardian, or conservator is affiliated with a member firm of an exchange or FINRA and Rule 3210 applies, a FINRA Rule 3210 Consent Letter.
    • Letters of Appointment of conservator/guardian.
      • Court-certified
      • Dated within 12 months 
      • A valid court seal or stamp is required
    • Adobe® Reader® or Adobe Acrobat® 7.0 or higher (download the latest version on the Adobe website).
Guardianship accounts
  • The Letters of Guardianship Tooltip
    • Court-certified
    • Dated within 12 months 
    • A valid court seal or stamp is required
Conservatorship accounts
  • The Letters of Conservatorship Tooltip
    • Court-certified
    • Dated within 12 months 
    • A valid court seal or stamp is required
Entity Conservator or Guardian
  • The Letters of Appointment of conservator/guardian.
    • Court-certified
    • Dated within 12 months 
    • A valid court seal or stamp is required
  • If the guardian is an entity, a Schwab One Account Application for Incorporated Organizations or a Schwab One Account Application for Non-Incorporated Organizations must also be submitted in addition to the Account Application (Schwab One Personal Accounts) or IRA Application.
    • Section 1 of the form should reference whether the registration is a conservatorship or guardianship. (This can be handwritten on the form.)
To add options (Level 0 only)

A completed Options Trading and Margin Application signed by the conservator or guardian.

  • You can complete this form using a guided workflow on Schwab Advisor Center.
Designated Beneficiary (Transfer on Death) account
  • An existing Designated Beneficiary (Transfer on Death) account must be converted to an individual account before creating a conservatorship/guardianship.
    • Submit a completed Account Application (Schwab One Personal Accounts)
  • Beneficiary(ies) designated by the account holder remain in effect upon receipt of Letters of Conservatorship/Guardianship.
    • Pre-existing beneficiary(ies) are removed if specified by court documents.
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 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)

The following are required:

  • Letters of appointment of conservator/guardian dated within the last 12 months.
  • A Schwab One Account Application for Personal Accounts or Open a Schwab IRA application completed and signed by the successor conservator or guardian.
  • If the conservator is an entity, a Schwab One Account Application for Incorporated Organizations or a Schwab One Account Application for Non-Incorporated Organizations must be submitted, too.

If the court determines the ward has regained capacity and is eligible to assume authority over their account, the following are required:

  • A court order confirming the ward has regained capacity and granting removal of the conservatorship/guardianship.
  • An updated account application with the former ward’s current personal information signed and dated by the ward.
    • Reference the existing account number at the top of the application.

To complete using DocuSign, see How to use DocuSign.

  • Select the Open Account - Schwab One Personal Account to complete the workflow.

This process may be used to open a new conservatorship/guardianship brokerage account using DocuSign.

Converting an existing account to a conservatorship/guardianship can only be done with paper forms.

This process may be used to open a new or convert an existing account to a conservatorship/guardianship brokerage account or IRA account using paper forms.

  1. Select the appropriate form:
    • Open Account - Schwab One Personal Account
    • Open Account - IRA Account Application
    • If the conservator/guardian is an entity, select either Schwab One Account Application for Incorporated Organizations or Schwab One Account Application for Non-Incorporated Organizations to provide the entity's information.
    • Select additional forms as needed and select Open PDF.
  2. Complete all necessary fields and ensure any additional features the client requested were added.
  3. Print the form(s) and obtain signatures from all account holders and agent(s). Send the signed form(s) to your Service team via a Schwab Advisor Center Service Request. Mail any notarized forms and original documents to your Service team.

If the forms were submitted using DocuSign, see the What's next? section of How to use DocuSign.

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

Form: Account Application (Schwab One Personal Accounts)
Form: Schwab One Account Application for Incorporated Organizations
Form: Options, Trading and Margin Application
Form: Schwab One Account Application for Non-Incorporated Organizations
Form: IRA Account Application