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TD Ameritrade: Best Guardian/Conservator Accounts (2021)

Review of TD Ameritrade guardian accounts pros and cons, account fees, rating, minimum, investing options and commissions.

Guardian/Conservator Accounts at TD Ameritrade

If you have a minor in your family who needs an adult to manage some investments they have; or if you have a legal adult who is not capable of managing their financial picture, you can open a guardian/conservator account at TD Ameritrade. This will give you the ability to manage the beneficiary’s assets, including the ability to make trading decisions.

Opening the Account at TD Ameritrade

To open a guardian/conservator account, just head over to TD Ameritrade’s account opening page on its website. In the left-hand column, there is a list of account categories. Expand the “Joint/Minor” section. Although a guardian/conservator account doesn’t necessarily need to be for a minor, this is where the account type is located.

Once you have the list of choices expanded, scroll down to the one that says “Guardianship or conservatorship.” Select this option, and you’ll be presented with the account opening page.

There’s one caveat in all of this. Paradoxically, the account can’t be opened online. Using the broker’s online account opening form, you’ll receive an email with further instructions to complete the account opening process. Basically, you’ll need to fill out some paper forms and send them back to TD Ameritrade.

There are two other ways to open the guardian/conservator account. You can download the required forms instead of receiving them as an e-mail; or you can have the broker send them through the postal service. In all three cases, the account won’t be opened until TD Ameritrade receives the required paperwork.

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Fees for the Guardian/Conservator Account

TD Ameritrade charges zero fees and imposes zero minimums on all account types. So you can open the guardian/conservator account without having to worry about account minimums, annual fees, low-balance charges, or inactivity fees. And there’s no charge to close an account.

Even better, the guardian/conservator account has the same great pricing schedule that other TDA accounts have. This means $0 commissions on stock and ETF trades and $0.65 per contract for option trades.

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Other Account Types Available at TD Ameritrade

If you’re opening an account for an incapacitated adult, the guardian/conservator account might be your only option. If you’re opening a brokerage account for a minor, you have a few other choices at TD Ameritrade.

One is the UTMA/UGMA account. Assets automatically transfer to the minor at 18 to 25 years of age (depending on the state). The account is not tax deferred, but withdrawals can be used for any purpose.

A Minor IRA is tax deferred, and it can be opened at TD Ameritrade in either Roth or traditional format. Unlike the UTMA/UGMA account, the beneficiary must have earned income. And there’s a limit on annual contributions. The UTMA/UGMA account has no limit.

Additional Benefits of a TD Ameritrade Account

On top of the broker’s great fee schedule, you also get access to futures and forex trading, a rare service among securities brokers. Plus, you’ll be able to use excellent software; and invest in over 13,000 mutual funds.

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$0 commissions + transfer fee reimbursement.

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