All Collections
IRA Transfers
How do I avoid transfer delays?
How do I avoid transfer delays?

Please follow these steps to avoid transfer delays

Updated over a week ago

Transfers can take up to 2-3 weeks to process. To avoid transfer delays, please ensure:

  • The releasing custodian will respond to our contact request

    • While all transfers start and end with your new custodian, the releasing (or old) custodian has a significant role to play in ensuring the process goes smoothly

    • Stay in touch with both firms involved throughout the process to make sure both are giving the proper attention to your transfer request

  • An original signature is provided to the releasing custodian (if required)

    • Even though Choice accepts digital signatures, some releasing custodians still require an original “wet” signature on our transfer form in order to proceed with the transfer

    • Some custodians also require DocuSign signatures vs Dropbox Forms electronic signatures, (ex Fidelity/NFS)

    • Several custodians require a medallion stamp guarantee, we may be able to obtain for a nominal fee and if under a certain value

  • The correct form is used

    • For Choice, you should use the Account Transfer form

    • If requesting a rollover from a 401(k) or other qualified plan, the Account Transfer form should not be used. A Letter of Acceptance can be provided to the client to initiate the rollover with the plan or custodian.

  • The paperwork is carefully reviewed

    • A simple error or omission could halt the process right out of the gate.

  • Verify if the transfer involves a request to liquidate assets

    • Some firms will not accept third party liquidation instructions and will reject the paperwork and ask that you call to verify/initiate liquidation

    • New or updated paperwork is typically required with an updated signature and date once the liquidation has taken place, so, if applicable, we prefer that transferring clients liquidate any assets before submitting the transfer request

  • Account registration types match

    • If you indicate on the transfer form that you have a like account with the releasing firm (ex Traditional IRA to Traditional IRA) but in fact have an account type that cannot transfer directly into your new account, we cannot process the transfer (ex Traditional IRA to Roth IRA)

    • This is one reason we request a copy of the client’s most recent account statement, as oftentimes we are able to catch those issues before the request is submitted

  • If you request cash to be transferred, make sure funds are available

    • If the amount listed is not currently available in cash, you must indicate which asset(s) you wish to have liquidated on the form

    • Be sure to mark “Transfer As Cash” under Section 3 of the Account Transfer form

    • If requesting a partial amount of cash, enter that amount in Section 3 of the Account Transfer form under “Quantity to Transfer”

  • Verify if you have outstanding fees at the releasing firm

    • You may have a termination fee or processing fee to take care of, and there may not be enough cash in the account to cover those fees and transfer the requested amount

    • You will want to reach out to the current custodian in regards to any pending fees and payment

  • Account titles must match

    • For example, if you’ve married or divorced since you opened the account at the releasing firm, your Choice account reflects your new last name; often clients overlook the fact that the name wasn’t changed on the old account

    • Once the request is rejected, we typically have to resubmit the paperwork with a copy of the legal name change document (i.e. divorce decree, marriage certificate, etc.)

  • If you are transferring any assets in-kind (not liquidating)

    • Asset names must be listed in Section 3 of the Account Transfer form under the “Asset Description” section

    • A current account statement must be provided that shows the asset, value, and units

    • Be sure to mark “Transfer In-Kind” under Section 3 of the Account Transfer form

    • Some assets can take up to 30 business days to complete re-registration and be placed in your account

    • Some re-registration may require signatures and additional information from the client

    • There can be delays if the releasing custodian does not follow directions provided with the Account Transfer form while sending electronic assets

You should review any account form carefully before completing it to ensure that the process involved will go as smoothly as possible. Again, a simple error could significantly delay a transfer, so be sure that both your old and new custodian have all the information they need to successfully process the transfer request.

Did this answer your question?