Types of Investment Accounts
Open an Account
An Individual Account is owned by one person. The owner has sole authority to make purchases, redemptions, address changes, and any other changes to the account. In the event the owner dies, the account generally becomes part of the owner's estate, unless a beneficiary has been named. An account owner must be at least 18 years old and be a US resident or resident alien.
An account can be established for a child under the Uniform Gift to Minors Act (UGMA) or the Uniform Transfer to Minors Act (UTMA), depending on the state in which you live. The UGMA/UTMA account allows anyone to make gifts or transfers of property to a minor without setting up a trust. The transfers made to an account of this type are considered an irrevocable transfer to the minor in whose name the account is registered.
A joint account is owned by two or more people as "joint tenants with rights of survivorship". The owners act together in making changes to the account. In the event one owner dies, the account passes to the surviving owner(s).
If requested, a joint account can be registered as "tenants in common". This allows an owner's percentage to be distributed (transferred) to the estate upon death. A pro rata share of ownership is assumed unless otherwise indicated.
An account can be registered in the name of a trust, such as a living trust, family trust, charitable trust, etc. The trust must be in existence in order for the account to be established. The trustee(s) of the trust authorize the establishment of the account and authorize all subsequent transactions and changes to the account.
Corporation/Partnership Other Entity
An account may be established in the name of a corporation, partnership, or other entity (such as an estate, limited liability company, etc.) The individual(s) authorized to establish the account can make subsequent transactions and other changes to the account on behalf of the entity.