Shareholder FAQs

Transferring Shares

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In addition to having mastered the ins and outs of supporting emerging growth for midsize companies, we continuously keep abreast of changing industry rules, regulations and standards.

Here you will find commonly asked questions along with their answers. If you do not find the information you need, please do not hesitate to contact us.
We are eager to support you in any way we can.

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QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

HOW SHOULD I MAIL SHARES FOR TRANSFER TO CONTINENTAL STOCK TRANSFER & TRUST?

Your stock certificate and appropriate documentation should be mailed to our corporate offices at 1 State Street Plaza, 30th Floor, New York, NY 10004-1561.

It is your responsibility to get your certificate to Continental.

We recommend that you send all certificates by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested or some other form of traceable overnight courier service such as FedEx or UPS. We also suggest that the shipment be insured for 3 percent of the current value of the shares. In the event of a mail loss, a surety bond of 3% may be required to replace the certificates. Please note that premium for the surety bond for non-US applicants is 5% of the current value of the shares.

HOW DO I TRANSFER SHARES?

To change the ownership of a security, the following will be required:

  • Presentation of the original stock certificate(s). If the shares are held in book entry form (DRS, DRIP etc.) you may submit the Statement or make reference to the shares in the letter of instruction.
  • A formal signed letter of instruction which details the transfer by providing the name, address, social security or tax identification number of the transferee(s) and the number of shares to be issued to each. See below on information for different types of registrations.
  • Stock Power with the medallion guaranteed endorsement of the current registered shareholder as reflected on the stock certificate. See below for information if the registered shareholder is deceased.
  • A substitute IRS Form W-9 (Certification of Taxpayer Identification) completed for each transferee.

In some cases, we may require additional documents to complete the transfer. Please see other answers in this section to obtain additional information about transfer requirements and to download required forms.

HOW ARE SHARES TRANSFERRED OUT OF A DECEDENT’S NAME?

If we are the agent for the securities, the following documentation will be required if the shares are in the name of an individual decedent:

  • Presentation of the original stock certificate(s). If the shares are held in book entry form (DRS, DRIP etc.) you may submit the Statement or make reference to the shares in the letter of instruction.
  • A Probate Court certified copy of the certificate of appointment (Letters Testamentary of Administration or equivalent) of the personal representative (executor, administrator etc.) of the estate of the decedent dated within sixty (60) days (six months for New York State) of the date of the transfer request. Please see below if the estate is not probated.
  • Stock Power with the medallion guaranteed endorsement of the personal representative (executor, administrator etc.) of the estate of the decedent.
  • An Affidavit of Domicile executed by the personal representative of the estate of the decedent. This form must be notarized.
  • An Inheritance Tax Waiver, if applicable (this requirement depends on the date of death and the State of residence at the time of death).
  • A formal signed instruction letter detailing the transfer by including the name of the transferee(s) with addresses and social security or tax identification numbers and the number of shares to be transferred to each.
  • A Substitute IRS Form W-9  (Certification of Taxpayer Identification) completed for each transferee.

If the decedent’s estate is not probated and is subject to the Small Estate statute of the state of legal domicile (residence) of the decedent at the time of his/her death, then the following documents will be required in lieu of the Certificate of Appointment of the personal representative:

  • An official notarized certificate (Small Estate Affidavit) as prescribed by statute under the laws of the State of legal domicile which lists the decedent’s legal heir(s). The Affidavit must be dated within sixty (60) days of the date of the transfer request. It should be noted that the value of the estate cannot exceed the Small Estate limit.
  • A certified copy of the Death Certificate of the decedent.
HOW IS A DECEASED JOINT TENANT REMOVED AS A REGISTERED HOLDER?

If the subject registration is a joint tenants account with the rights of survivorship (Joint Tenants or Tenants by the Entireties), the following documents will be required:

  • Presentation of the original stock certificate(s). If the shares are held in book entry form (DRS, DRIP etc.) you may submit the Statement or make reference to the shares in the letter of instruction.
  • A certified copy of the Death Certificate of the decedent.
  • An Affidavit of Domicile executed by the surviving tenant.
    This form must be notarized.
  • An Inheritance Tax Waiver if applicable (this requirement depends on the date of death and the State of residence at the time of death).
  • A formal signed instruction letter detailing the transfer by including the name of the transferee(s) with addresses and social security or tax identification numbers and the number of shares to be transferred to each.
  • A Substitute IRS Form W-9 (Certification of Taxpayer Identification) completed for each transferee.
  • Stock Power with the medallion guaranteed endorsement of the surviving tenant will be required if additional names are added to the joint tenancy or if the shares are transferred to another individual or entity.
WHEN A FORMER MINOR REACHES THE AGE OF MAJORITY (CUSTODIAL REGISTRATION)

After determining that the age of majority has been reached by checking the State statute, the following will be required:

  • Presentation of the original stock certificate(s). If the shares are held in book entry form (DRS, DRIP etc.) you may submit the Statement or make reference to the shares in the letter of instruction.
  • Stock Power with the medallion guaranteed endorsement of the custodian or the former minor.
  • A certified copy of the birth certificate of the former minor.
  • A formal signed instruction letter detailing the transfer of the shares. The address and social security number of the former minor should be provided.
CHANGE A NAME DUE TO MARRIAGE OR DIVORCE

This type of name change is considered a legal transfer. If Mary Jones gets married/divorced and changes her name to Mary Smith, the following documents will be required:

  • Presentation of the original stock certificate(s). If the shares are held in book entry form (DRS, DRIP etc.) you may submit the Statement or make reference to the shares in the letter of instruction.
  • A signed letter of instruction requesting the name change and providing the address and social security number for the creation of a new account.
  • Stock Power with the medallion guaranteed endorsement of Mary Smith in the following format:

X___________________________________________

Mary Smith formerly Mary Jones (by marriage/divorce)

Please note that a copy of the marriage certificate or divorce decree will be required by the financial institution that guarantees your signature.

INDIVIDUAL REGISTRATION

This registration gives sole ownership to the single individual and requires that the person’s legal name be used. It is required that the full first name be provided rather than an initial. An example of an individual registration is Mary Smith.

JOINT REGISTRATIONS
  • Joint Tenants with Rights of Survivorship: This registration is used when two or more individuals have equal claim to the assets. Should one of the parties die, ownership of the assets passes to the surviving tenant(s). An example of a “Joint Tenants with Rights of Survivorship” registration is Mary Smith & Barbara Smith JT TEN.
  • Tenants In Common: This registration allows an appropriate portion of the assets to pass to the estate of the holder upon the holder’s death rather than to the surviving tenant. An example of a “Tenants In Common” registration is Mary Smith & Barbara Smith TEN COM.
  • Tenants by the Entireties: This is a Joint Tenant account with Rights of Survivorship between spouses ONLY. An example is Mary Smith & George Smith TEN ENT. Mary and George must be a married couple.
CUSTODIAL REGISTRATIONS

There are several possible custodial registrations. A common type of custodial registration requires the names of the custodian and the beneficial owner who is a minor. An example of a “Custodial” registration is Mary Smith CUST FBO Don Smith NY UNIF TRANS MIN ACT. Note that the two-letter state abbreviation must appear before “UNIF”.

TRUST REGISTRATIONS

Registering shares in the name of a Trust requires the following specific information be provided:

  • The full name of the Trust,
  • The name of the trustee(s),
  • The date the Trust was created, and
  • The beneficiary of the Trust

An example of a “Trust” registration is Mary Smith Trustee U/A Dated 4/15/98 The Mary Smith Revocable Living Trust FBO Mary Smith.

TRANSFER ON DEATH (TOD) REGISTRATIONS
  • The owner of a security registered in TOD form must be a natural person holding the security as an individual or as joint owners with rights of survivorship (i.e., Joint Tenants or Tenants by the Entireties). Tenants In Common or Community Property joint accounts are not permitted as by definition they do not have rights to survivorship. TOD registrations by non-natural persons (such as a Trust, Corporation or a Partnership) are not permitted. Only one beneficiary per registration may be designated by the security owner. While the owner must be a natural person, the beneficiary can be an individual or an entity (corporation, charity, partnership, custodial account (Uniform Transfers to Minors Act only), trust etc.). Note however that until the death of the owner, the beneficiary has no rights to the shares and as such any transfer of the shares prior to the death of the owner would not require their consent in any way.
  • We accept TOD registrations for households in states recognizing this registration, except for certain issues for which we only act as the co-transfer agent.
  • An example of a TOD registration is Mary Smith TOD Jane Smith Subject to STA TOD Rules.