How to open an estate account

How to open an estate account

You can use DocuSign® to open an estate account to manage the assets of a decedent's estate during the course of probate, prior to the distribution of assets to the estate beneficiary(ies).

To open an estate account, you will need the following:

All accounts

A completed Schwab One® Account Application for Personal Accounts

  • The application instructions
  • Your firm name and master account number
  • The executor's Tooltip name, home address, identification number Tooltip , birthdate, telephone numbers, citizenship status, employment status, employer, occupation, business address, and business phone number. If the executor is an entity, the Incorporated or Non-Incorporated Organization Account Application is also required.

  • Decedent name and Social Security number
  • Estate name and tax identification number Tooltip
  • A copy of the Letters Testamentary, Letters of Administration, or other certification of appointment from the appropriate probate court.
    • Court-issued Letters of Testamentary are acceptable from the date of issue until the listed expiration date.
    • If the document does not have an expiration date, it is acceptable for one year after the issue date.
  • Schwab requires only one document (excluding documents with disbursement instructions) per deceased, regardless of the number of accounts held. This would apply to the Certified death certificate Tooltip , Letters of Testamentary Tooltip Affidavit of Domicile, etc.
  • If the executor is affiliated with a member firm of an exchange or FINRA and Rule 3210 applies, a FINRA Rule 3210 Consent Letter
In addition to the information required above for all account holders, the following information may be required:
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 mobile phone number
  • All clients must use text message (SMS authentication and Knowledge Based Authentication (KBA) for DocuSign 

For details, see How to use DocuSign.

This process may be used to open an estate account using paper forms.

  1. Go to the forms library on Schwab Advisor Center and select Open Account – Schwab One Personal Account. Click Select for All, and then select Open PDF. If the executor is an entity, the Incorporated or Non-Incorporated Organization Account Application is also required.
  2. In addition, open the Irrevocable Stock or Bond Power and the Affidavit of Domicile forms.
  3. Complete all necessary fields and ensure all additional features the client requested have been added.
  4. Print the form(s) and obtain signatures from each executor, administrator, and personal representative. Send the signed form(s) to your Schwab service team via a Schwab Advisor Center service request. If applicable, mail the original documents to your Schwab service team.

Once you have submitted your request:

  • If the forms were submitted using DocuSign, see the What's next? section of How to use DocuSign.
  • The Letters Testamentary will be reviewed for restrictive language or expiration dates that may delay processing the account open request.
  • If additional information or original forms are needed, a Schwab service representative will contact you.
  • If you have questions about opening an estate account, contact your service team. Schwab does not provide advice to beneficiaries/executors on how to manage the probate process. The beneficiary/executor should direct questions regarding the probate process to their estate planning attorney.

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

Form: Account Application (Schwab One Personal Accounts) Resource: Losing a Loved One


If there are multiple signers assigned to a form, in which order do the signers receive and sign the form(s)?
The order the signers are notified of a document pending signature depends on the order in which you listed the signers on the envelope creation page. Signers will receive an email notification in sequential order after each signer has completed their signing.

If signers have the same email address, make your client aware of who should sign first because signers won't be able to sign in the wrong order. The first signer must sign before the second can access and sign the envelope.

For incorporated or non-incorporated entities of organization accounts, the order of signers matters.

If my client makes changes to a form when electronically signing, will I be notified of the changes?
No. Once all signers have completed their electronic signatures, you will not be able to edit any of the information. However, during setup you may elect to have the forms routed back to you for review prior to submitting to Schwab.

How to add features to an account
How to deposit funds and securities into an estate account
How to handle deceased clients' assets
How to use DocuSign®
Introduction to householding
Introduction to submitting client documents
How to submit and use Service Requests