Perspectives

How do I set up my T. Rowe Price accounts so someone I trust can help me with them?

It’s important to have a backup plan ready in case you become unable to make decisions about your finances—or if you simply want to delegate some portion of control over your mutual fund accounts, says Christine Fahlund, CFP®, a senior financial planner at T. Rowe Price. This goal may be accomplished in several ways.

Grant Special Access

Online View Access: This feature allows someone else who also has accounts at  T. Rowe Price to view your accounts online, but not your personal information, such as your account and Social Security numbers. Someone with view access can monitor your account for any unusual activity but cannot conduct transactions. You can grant view access to this person by going to your Account Access—Profiles and Preferences.

Statements by Mail: You also can have copies of your statements mailed to a designated individual. Doing so will make your account numbers, but not your Social Security number, known to the person you choose. Contact an Investment Guidance Specialist for assistance.

Trading Privileges: You can authorize a trusted person to be able to make limited trades in any or all of your accounts—and even maintain and update account information (not including your address). This trading authority would provide access to these specific accounts—but would not enable someone to change beneficiaries or make redemptions—until you revoke the permission granted or until T. Rowe Price receives notice of your death. Using trading privileges in conjunction with view access, the individual you authorize can help monitor specific accounts of your choosing and perform limited actions on them.

Power of Attorney

A POA (power of attorney) is only applicable during your lifetime—all powers of attorney terminate at your death. T. Rowe Price provides a POA form you can complete that will enable you to appoint as your agent someone whom you trust to act on your behalf. It is important to have this form completed before an event such as a debilitating accident. You also can work with an attorney to draft a POA that would cover management of all of your assets. The advantage of using a T. Rowe Price POA form for your T. Rowe Price assets is that if considerable time passes between establishment of the POA and the time that it is needed, recertification of the POA will not be required.

Revocable Living Trust

Like your own POA, a trust gives you the ability to specify under what conditions and to what extent the person you designate as trustee or successor trustee will have authority over the accounts that are titled under the name of your revocable living trust. A revocable living trust is an agreement that can be used to determine how property held in the trust will be managed during your lifetime and distributed after your death. You can name yourself as trustee, with an individual or institution as your successor if you resign or die. To avoid any delays, should you become incapacitated, you can name someone else as co-trustee with you or as the sole trustee if you prefer to delegate the authority completely to that individual. If you’ve named someone as your successor trustee, you may choose to grant him or her view access to become more familiar with the accounts in your trust.