This might seem a morbid question but I think we need to know this as well. When you die, what happens to your account (be that ISA or non-ISA)? Does Freetrade close the account and sells the shares? Does it let the shares sit and sell when they receive a sell order from the family? Given that FT is a mobile app, families will probably not always know that the person had a shares account.
I can only take a guess, but I would assume that most would leave their shares in their will. Login details to their phone and email could be left and whoever lives on could access those shares and sell them that way. It would be good if Freetrade were to have a policy covering granting access if a death certificate/whatever is provided, though.
But what if you don’t have a will. Covid has killed off quite a few people who were not expecting to die so soon so there should be something in place to deal with this.
If you don’t tell anyone i presume it will stay there forever. I wonder how many shares are owned by dead people.
I would expect a probate solicitor would sort out transfer of shares or funds to the beneficiarys . Not sure if they have a way of finding out about the account if you don’t tell anyone you have it though.
I think using someones login details after death is a bad idea. could leave you open to accusations of theft or fraud.
best to get the account transferred properly.
Think this is a very important topic, would hate to see my Investments “disappear” if I were to bite the dust.
I think with most things to do with your ‘estate’ I think a will is going to be the best way to make sure your assets go where you want them to go.
Be good to get some info. back from the free-trade team on this one though.
What about if you don’t log into your account for a year a message is sent to a family member, i’d rather leave contact details on the app than leave a piece of paper with my phone and Freetrade password on.
Funny you should ask that, i’ve done the homework for you (back in May but I assume Freetrades position still stands… )
Hello. A chirpy message for you before the weekend I know- but what happens to my investments if i die? (Disclaimer I’m not planning on dying anytime soon)
Your family would need to reach out to us, and we’d go from there with arrangements to close down your account
On Mon, Jun 22, 2020 at 10:17 AM, “Shanice Friday” email@example.com wrote:
Is there anything else I can help you with?
No that’s fine, thanks.
I think this is a really important thing to consider. I would hope that a Freetrade account would be uncovered and dealt with as a part of probate, but having a list of investment accounts (not necessarily a stack of account numbers that could pose a security risk) that is known by a close family member is really important.
At the grand old age of 29, I’m not planning on popping my clogs any time soon, but I’ve made sure there are records so that my wife knows where our investments/pensions/savings are in case the worst was to happen. An even better option would be for her to be actively involved in our personal finances, but she’s not all that keen (yet!).
Making mention in your will would also be a smart move I reckon. Talking of which, I need to update mine!
Many of the new fintech brokers have the policy of closing down accounts when owners die instead of transfering ownership to descendents. This is something I find unacceptable as over time my portfolio grows and I want my children to inherit the wealth I created.
I did some research a few months ago contacting customer support of various new brokers. Out of them Revolut will also close down the account. However T212 will transfer ownership of account according to will.
Note that I am not affiliated with any broker. I just think this is really important.
I was literally thinking about this the other day when I saw an ad for wills, while going through my stocks on FT. It’s a good point to bring up regarding FT’s policy on this and it would be good for the FT team to give us an answer on it, as I too would like to think if I left my stocks to my family they would receive them and not as someone mentioned above, simply have my account shutdown.
Best idea is to make a list of investment on any platforms and maybe have it in a will as it is an asset.
They are still in your name as an asset so any assets become the property of your next of kin as long as inheritance taxes are paid over 325k value they may need to provide a copy of the death certificate to transfer the assets over
Thanks for opening this up @safe it’s super important.
In many ways, although we have different goals and ideas, all of us invest in some way or another for a better future. It therefore is not that big of a leap of the imagination that some of us at least will want to pass on part of that future to our loved ones.
@markrc did a great job of summing up one of the ways in which an individual can “pass on” what we’ve built but I’m afraid that the response @CobaltBlue received from the @freetrade team is yet another example of immaturity by the folks in the Freetrade office and “design” thinking rather actually solving issues with world class service and features.
As someone who works at a place that deals with a lot of death I can assure you that the vast majority of people neither want nor plan their death, excluding those who tragically choose to end their lives.
Unexpected death is not something that is uncommon nor is it something that should scare us or preclude us from discussions.
I think that Freetrade are uniquely positioned to be able to offer an elegant solution to this very real consideration we all face and at the same time elevate what they offer head and shoulders above the rest.
Since they are investment custodians I see no reason why they couldn’t for example create an environment within customer accounts that nominates third party beneficiaries. I.e. a person who you the client nominates in advance as the person to take hold of your holdings in case you die or are otherwise incapacitated. There is no reason why they couldn’t design and pitch a feature like this and literally get the FCA to rubber stamp it. In many ways something like that can also act as a fail safe for when people are victims of hacking, fraud or other crimes that can happen online too, but that’s a bigger discussion for another time.
Here in lies the criticism for FreeTrade. They simply haven’t thought of their response to this. They haven’t worked out a process and most of all they haven’t done any actual work to address this as an issue.
The immaturity I have mentioned in this and other posts is evident to me in the trinkety features that make coders feel smug which seem to be solved weekly and monthly and are great for “marketeers” to howl at the moon about. They are one thing, but I would challenge the entire @freetrade team to solve this problem of account legacy that is very real for all of us.
First person to cite “legal” issues for this not being a thing within Freetrade wins themselves a chocolate biscuit and a lovely reply from me as a gift for the new year
I think generally the Executor of the will, or next of kin would take that role. I’m not sure if someone you nominated to Freetrade would be able to override that. However it would be good if the holdings could be transferred to beneficiaries rather than just closing the account and presumably selling everything.
Freetrade have confirmed their SIPP offering will allow recording of beneficiaries. However there doesn’t seem to be any wording in the current terms and conditions around ISA and GIA accounts when it comes to a customers death. The only wording about accounts it’s their ability to sell of all assets and close the account.
It would be good if there was clearer wording on how accounts are handled on the death of a customer. And allowing the transfer of ownership on death.
@sampoullain maybe someone could give insight? I imagine this will absolutely become a growing issue as people’s accounts get larger and the inclusion of SIPPs
Agreed that it would be good to have clarity on whether assets can be transferred to another beneficiary (either through Freetrade’s own beneficiary record, or at the request of an executor of a will).
I certainly would want the option for my portfolio to be transferred (as is) rather than immediately sold.
Dave I hear you!
And although I don’t disagree with your comment the dimension I want to bring in is that there is precedent for contractual obligations being settled after a persons death in the UK. As for instance in the occasion when during the sale of property if one party dies then the executor or administrators if there is no will, would still honour, as they must, the contractual obligation of the deceased party. After the contract is signed the obligation remains even in the unfortunate scenario when one of the parties dies.
And this is my point. We enter into effectively a contract with FreeTrade to have our orders executed in the market, and for them to hold our instruments in confidence and so on as per the terms which have caveats for all sorts of eventualities.
I am just pressing with the idea that the FreeTrade team should make this an explicit process in the outset and for all customers! As you rightly summarised above there is no certainty about whether another person could over-ride an Executors or administrators role.
I would argue this is true unless you, the customer, has explicitly entered into a contractual agreement with Freetrade or explicitly defined your wishes in a will. The benefit of this would be that you could in this scenario, as you mentioned, transfer the holdings rather than the theoretical or nominal value of the holdings
There should be a phone number, address an email for the office at Freetrade that deals with the bereavement of the account holder.
I have a file for my widow and Executors of my Will which provides this information. I cannot find any such contacts on the Freetrade site.
I know there are lots of youngsters on here who won’t be thinking of such things. But my father had a book where he listed all his financial details and even though a bit out of date it was very useful and means the executors can process the Grant of Probate, final tax Return etc. without a costly solicitor. Most banks are very helpful in this way. I have been Executor of wills for 3 family members and you do need to know account numbers etc., etc…
I keep all my information in a free form database which I periodically save as a pdf and can easily print and hold in a suitable labelled file. The database means I can easily update change of names (Insurance Companies are always changing names!!)
Instead of being morbid I found the process quite liberating. I have over 50 database entries a bit like index cards and it surprises me how it continues to grow with ne website links etc.
I even have sample template letters to send out plus lots of hints and tips from my own experience as an Executor.
Anyway Freetrade team I think this topic should be in the Q&As “What to do if someone dies?”
Any other ideas?