- If a person who holds stocks passes away without having a will . . .
- Since the current rightful shareholder is deceased, the transfer agent would need a medallion guarantee to verify the signature of the Executor or Trustee.
Very often our eSignatureGuarantee office will get calls from individuals who may have just lost a parent or from someone whose spouse just passed away and they are looking for direction and guidance on how to address the ownership of stock after that person who owned the stock has passed away. Did they have a will?
When a person passes away, the transfer of stock ownership will depend on the provisions made by the deceased before their passing. If a married person who held stocks jointly with a spouse dies, then the surviving spouse typically becomes the sole owner of those stocks. However, the process is different if the decedent held stocks in his or her own name.
If a person who holds stocks passes away without having a will to name a beneficiary, then usually a probate process is initiated which is the formal legal process for addressing a deceased person’s estate. The court will then decide who gets the shares in question and then directs the executor of the estate to transfer ownership accordingly. The executor will then compile selected documents to be sent to the transfer agent that handles the particular issuer of those securities. Typically the documents required by the transfer agent will include a (1) Letters Testamentary or if the deceased did not have a Will, but had a Trust, they would need the trust instrument portion that appoints the administrator/trustee to the decedent’s property; (2) Certified Copy of the Death Certificate; (3) Copy of Executor’s driver’s license and (4) a copy of the transfer instruction forms.
The transfer agent will then coordinate and complete the transfer of ownership.
So where does the medallion guarantee requirement come into play?
Since the current rightful shareholder is deceased, the transfer agent would need a medallion guarantee to verify the signature of the Executor or Trustee. At a time when the last thing you want to be doing is additional paperwork or calling banks to inquire of their services, we would suggest that you invite the Executor or Trustee to www.eSignatureGuarantee.com, an online medallion platform whereby he/she can have their ID validated online within 2-3 minutes and request a medallion signature guarantee. This patent pending and innovate web based services provides a solution by integrating two factor authentication technology and knowledge-based identification verification, all while addressing some of the challenges that shareholders and executors often face while trying to obtain a medallion.
Wishing you only happy occasions so that you should never need a medallion signature guarantee under such circumstances. . .