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How To Close a Merrill Edge Account


2022 Merrill Edge account deletion and ACAT transfer out fee. How to delete a Merrill Edge account (taxable or IRA).


How to Close a Merrill Edge Account


If you have a brokerage account with Merrill Edge that you’re not using anymore, it’s a good idea to close it to prevent unauthorized use of it. Here’s everything you need to know:


First, Remove All Securities


For self-directed accounts, the first task is to eliminate positions of securities. This is easy enough to do, although remember that exiting the positions by selling (or buying in the case of short positions) may incur tax consequences. Be sure to consult with a CPA before taking this step.

It’s also possible to transfer the holdings of a self-directed account to another brokerage firm by performing an ACAT transfer. A partial transfer will move specific holdings while leaving other positions, such as cash, behind. The transfer will be executed from the receiving side.


Next, Zero Out the Account


With nothing but cash left, log into the website and hover over the Accounts tab in the top menu. In the drop-down window, click on Transfer Money & Securities.

Now, you’ll have Merrill Edge’s asset transfer form. It can be used to move cash, but not securities, out of an account. (The tool to move securities can be used to move securities into a Merrill Edge account.)

To move cash out of an account, select the tab for cash. This is the ACH transfer tool, which is super easy. In the From field, select the Merrill Edge account, being careful to select the correct one in case you have two or more.


How To Close Merrill Edge Account


In the To field, select the receiving bank account. If you haven’t added one yet, you can do so now. Just click on “Add a new account.” Merrill Edge doesn’t use Plaid, so you’ll have to use the deposit account’s routing and account numbers. The receiving account must be a checking or savings account.

Next, select the amount of cash to transfer (it should be the entire cash balance in this situation) and then set the frequency. This should be a one-time transfer.

Once you’re finished with the transfer, there will be a Review Transfers tab on the same page. Click on this to review a submitted transfer and monitor its progress.

It’s also possible to perform a transfer out of cash via wire. This option cannot be completed online, however, so we recommend the ACH tool.


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Finally, Request a Merrill Edge Account Closure


After the self-directed account has a $0.00 balance, you simply need to contact Merrill and request the account be closed. This can be done by calling the firm at 877.653.4732. A request can also be sent by snail mail to:

Merrill Edge
PO Box 14354
Lexington, KY 40512-4353


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Alternative Way to Cancel a Merrill Edge Account


Using the same transfer form we have already seen on the Merrill Edge website, it’s also possible to transfer both cash and securities from one Merrill Edge account to another. After everything is moved into the receiving account, contact the company using one of the same methods already mentioned to request a closure of the outgoing account.


Closing a Merrill Edge Advisory Account


So far, we have looked only at closing self-directed accounts. To close an advisory account with Merrill Edge, you can submit a request online or call the advisory department (877.444.0916). If you cancel enrollment in Merrill’s advisory program online, the account will simply be converted into a self-directed account. It’s certainly possible at this point to go through the steps mentioned above to close the self-directed account, although it will be easier to call the broker and request a closure of the advisory account.

It does take a minimum of 5 business days to process a closure request of an advisory account. Cash proceeds cannot be withdrawn during this time.


Second Alternative Way to Delete a Merrill Edge Account


Instead of going through the rather lengthy process of shutting down the Merrill Edge self-directed or managed account, you could do a full ACAT transfer to another brokerage firm. A full outgoing ACAT transfer will move everything in the account to the second brokerage firm and automatically close the Merrill account. Asn an example, read how to transfer Merrill Edge account to Webull.


Transfer and Closeout Fees


Closing an Individual Retirement Account at Merrill Edge will follow the same procedures as already outlined. However, unlike taxable accounts, IRAs do have a $49.95 closeout fee.

Full outgoing transfers of taxable accounts also cost $49.95 at Merrill Edge. The brokerage house does not assess this fee for internal transfers. If you move your account to TD Ameritrade, they will reimburse this transfer fee.


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Updated on 9/15/2022.


About the Author
Chad Morris is a financial writer with more than 20 years experience as both an English teacher and an avid trader. When he isn’t writing expert content for Brokerage-Review.com, Chad can usually be found managing his portfolio or building a new home computer.