In the interest of consolidating your IRAs, or just cutting down on the number of statements you receive and financial institution websites to monitor, you might want to transfer an existing IRA to a different trustee. You might also want to make the switch in pursuit of more favorable investment choices. You can move an IRA from one trustee to another via a direct, or trustee-to-trustee, transfer. You can also have a check made out to the new trustee and convey it to that trustee yourself within 60 days of receipt.
Open an account at the new institution. This involves downloading or picking up the paperwork to open a new IRA account, and providing basic information such as your name, address, phone number, birth date and Social Security number. The form might also require your initial investment amount and investment choices. Select one or more beneficiaries to receive the IRA assets after you die. Sign and submit the paperwork.
Contact your current trustee about transferring your IRA. You might have to fill out paperwork and pay a fee, depending on the company. Ask the trustee to transfer the assets directly to the new account trustee. Your trustee will let you know whether he can effect an in-kind transfer, leaving your investments in place, or whether you need to liquidate the account for transfer.
See that the transaction has been completed. After three to five business days, confirm that the original account was closed and that the new account was credited with the full amount of the transfer.
D. Laverne O'Neal, an Ivy League graduate, published her first article in 1997. A former theater, dance and music critic for such publications as the "Oakland Tribune" and Gannett Newspapers, she started her Web-writing career during the dot-com heyday. O'Neal also translates and edits French and Spanish. Her strongest interests are the performing arts, design, food, health, personal finance and personal growth.