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Account Opening: Part 2 - Custodial Paperwork

Once all compliance-required documentation has been either provided to or signed by the client, we'll utilize information in the Help Ticket entry and the New Account Form or Redtail in order to draft the custodial paperwork.

Once we draft everything, we route the DocuSign or digital Schwab onboarding envelope to the client directly.  There is no welcome email that goes from the HQ member directly to the client at the beginning of the process.

The following details standards forms we would include, as well as the Schwab digital onboarding process.

TD Ameritrade

Typical Forms Included

  • Account Application (differs by account type i.e. IRA versus a taxable account)
  • Move Money - this is what allows a client to connect an outside bank account in order to make moving money to and from managed accounts easier; it also can connect internal accounts all managed at the same custodian for the same reason (i.e. moving an RMD to the taxable account in order to reinvest)
  • Account Transfer - this form is required if we are moving assets that are currently managed elsewhere.  
    • ACAT Transfer - this means the contra firm (the firm we're pulling money from) operates on the same system as our custodian, and the transfer will process more smoothly (typically)
    • Non-ACAT Transfer - this means the contra firm doesn't operate on the same system and the funds will transfer differently
  • Transfer on Death - this form is required for adding beneficiaries to a taxable account (does not apply to tax-deferred accounts)


  1.  HQ drafts one DocuSign package for each account being opened containing all forms related to that account.  The process starts by setting up all Orion registrations/billing, then we generate the paperwork and push into DocuSign. 
  2. HQ sends one DocuSign package per account to the client for signature (notifies advisor via the Help Ticket).
  3. Client signs the packages, which are then automatically sent to TD Ameritrade for processing (HQ notifies the advisor via the Help Ticket).
  4.  HQ downloads completed DocuSign packages to client folder in Egnyte.
  5.  HQ monitors TDA for successful processing, NIGOs, and then checks for accuracy and transfers.

Schwab - Standard Account Types

The following account types are considered 'Standard' on Schwab's platform and thus qualify for the digital onboarding process.

Typical Forms Included

NONE! That's what digital onboarding does for us! All we fill out is the client's name, phone and email, and then basic information about what needs to be included in the envelope as far as linking an external account.

PLEASE NOTE that we do need a copy of the previous account statement if the new Schwab account will be funded by the transfer of an existing account currently not under our management. 

Based on what is selected in the ticket, the following will typically be established in the digital onboarding process:

  • Account Opening
  • Money Link (same as TDA's Move Money concept)
  • Transfer of Assets (same as TDA's Account Transfer)


  1.  HQ drafts one Schwab digital onboarding envelope for each account to be opened.  All we complete are name, phone, email, transfer information and associated document upload - the client will complete the rest.
  2. HQ sends each to the client.  Please note that the client will receive one email from Schwab for each account, and they must click through each one.  The email comes from Schwab and lists Garrett Investment Advisors, LLC as the RIA firm.
  3.  The client follows each emailed link and provides any missing data, including personal info, external bank info, and/or document uploads.
  4.  Once the client completes, the envelopes are sent back to HQ for review to confirm all info is present and there are no clerical errors that would complicate things later.
  5.  After review, HQ submits the forms to Schwab and monitors for successful processing, NIGOs, and then checks for accuracy and transfers.

Schwab - Non-Standard Account Types

Any account type not listed above falls into this category.  To name a few common non-standard accounts that we can open:

  • Simple IRA
  • Any custodial, tax-deferred accounts owned by a minor, such as IRAs or Beneficiary IRAs

For these accounts, the process will look more like it does for TDA and can utilize wet signatures or Schwab's DocuSign.

Typical Forms Included

  • Account Application (beneficiary designations are indicated on this form for all account types)
  • Money Link (ACH)
  • Transfer of Account (TOA)


  1.  All information must be obtained up front, so HQ will request that the Advisor and/or Client complete a New Account Form, or complete parts of pdf forms in the case of some Simples and SEPs in order to provide the necessary information.
  2.  Once all info is present, HQ will draft the paperwork.  PLEASE NOTE that some account forms may require wet signature instead of electronic. 
  3.  HQ sends paperwork to client for signature via Schwab's DocuSign. The client will receive one email for each package, HOWEVER, signature functions differently in Schwab's DocuSign.
  4.  The client will follow the link in one email, and first be prompted to set up their Schwab online account.  Once created, the client will be logged into their account, and a blue dot will be visible on the messages icon in their top navigation bar.
  5.  The client will access each DocuSign package through their messages, and electronically sign as appropriate.
  6.  After review, HQ submits the forms to Schwab and monitors for successful processing, NIGOs, and then checks for accuracy and transfers.

Email Nicola@GarrettAdvisors.com with questions or submit a Help Ticket!