Investor Services

FREQUENTLY ASKED TRANSFER QUESTIONS


What is a Medallion Guarantee Stamp and where can I obtain one?
A Medallion Guarantee stamp may be obtained from a financial institution such as a U.S. bank, domestic credit union or a U.S. registered brokerage firm. The Medallion Guarantee stamp will guarantee that the individual signing the Stock Power is the securities rightful owner, or authorized legal representative with capacity to sign on behalf of its owner. An authorized officer will sign the Medallion Stamp with their name and title are printed beneath their signature. The type of Medallion Guarantee provided is determined by the value of the transaction. Depending upon the circumstances and to protect against fraudulent signatures, you will be required to produce certain legal documentation to the financial institution (not AST) that will be providing their Medallion Guarantee Stamp before they will assume liability. Accordingly, a notarized signature is not acceptable. American Stock Transfer & Trust Company, LLC (“AST”) is required to reject transfers that do not have an original Medallion Guarantee Stamp. Photocopies or faxes of this stamp are not acceptable.

Is there a fee to transfer shares?
AST does not charge a transfer fee. There may be fees associated with replacing a lost certificate or fees charged by the financial institution from which you are obtaining a Medallion Guarantee Stamp from.

What is a Form W-9 and why is it required?
A Form W-9 certifies the Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN, also known as a Social Security Number or Employer Identification Number) listed on an account. A Form W-9 is required each time a new registration or new account is established. The IRS requires that AST withhold a portion of the earnings on accounts that have not been certified by submitting a completed Form W-9.

If the owner is not a U.S. Taxpayer, a Form W-8 BEN is to be used in place of a Form W-9. You may leave the W-9 section printed on the Stock Power blank. Please note if an account is not certified, the new owner, who is a non-U.S taxpayer, will be subject to U.S. withholding from all earnings or sale proceeds as regulated by the IRS.

How do I transfer shares to multiple owners?
You must submit a fully completed Stock Power form with original signatures and medallion guarantee stamp affixed. If the space provided on the forms is insufficient, you may submit a letter providing all the details of transfer. Signatures and medallion guarantees must be affixed to the actual transfer instructions. If shares are being transferred to several persons individually, AST cannot accept instructions to transfer using words such as “equally” or “divided between” for multiple parties. The actual number of shares being transferred must be provided on the Stock Power form. If multiple owners are to be listed under one account, please identify the preferred form of ownership, (i.e., Joint Tenants With Rights of Survivorship, Tenants in Common, Tenants by the Entirety, etc.). See Stock Power instructions for more information.

Are dividend options available to the new owner?
All dividend policies depend on the particular stock held. Listed below are AST’s guidelines for dividend payments, provided that the company pays dividends.

When a company has a Dividend Reinvestment Plan that allows for reinvestment of dividends, the following applies:
If the existing account is enrolled in reinvestment prior to transfer, and the new owner wishes to reinvest, upon receipt of instructions, AST will transfer the shares directly into a plan account and reinvest the dividends.

If the existing account is not enrolled in reinvestment prior to transfer, AST cannot transfer shares directly into a plan account. The new owner will need to contact our Shareholder Services Department for a reinvestment enrollment package after the transfer is completed. The new owner may also enroll in the plan by accessing their account from our website.

When a company does not have a Dividend Reinvestment Plan, the following applies:
The new account will be set up to receive dividend checks.

Can cash dividends be set up for direct deposit for the new account?
If the company offers direct deposit of dividends, the new owner can arrange for direct deposit by downloading a direct deposit form from our website or by requesting the form from our call center after the transfer is completed. Please be advised some companies do not offer direct deposit of dividends. You may contact our Shareholder Services Department to determine if this option is available.

What if the certificate is lost?
In order for AST to provide you with replacement certificates we must be notified of the loss in writing. You may also report the loss on-line by accessing your account. A bond of indemnity to replace lost shares must be obtained, at your expense. A bond of indemnity protects AST and its clients from any liabilities incurred if the original certificates are presented for value in the future. A bond of indemnity can also be obtained independently from your own insurance provider, or an insurance company of your choice. As a convenience, you may elect to have AST include your lost certificate under our insurance provider, Travelers Casualty and Surety Company of America.

If you chose to be included under our insurance coverage, AST will send you an Affidavit of Loss and Indemnity Agreement form to be completed, with signatures notarized. You will be required to pay 3% of the market value of the lost securities at the time the loss affidavit is issued, and an administrative fee of $75. This payment is required for the bond coverage needed to process replacement of the lost certificate.

Completed, notarized affidavits and a check for the processing fee may be submitted with appropriate transfer documentation, and replacement securities will be issued in the name of the new shareholder.

What is an Affidavit of Domicile and when is it needed?
An Affidavit of Domicile is a sworn statement which is to be signed before an official Notary Public. The purpose of this form is to enable AST to secure the transfer of shares owned by the decedent at the time of his or her death under the laws of the decedent’s residence. You are required to submit this form to AST when transferring shares involving a shareholder who is deceased.

How can I determine if an Inheritance Tax Waiver is needed?
An Inheritance Tax Waiver may be required when transferring shares involving a shareholder who is deceased. To determine if this form is required in your particular instance you may contact that state’s Revenue or Tax Department, or you may visit the Securities Transfer Association website www.stai.org to view Appendix VI of their guidelines which is a listing by State of Inheritance Tax Waiver Requirements. If the State where the decedent resided requires such Waiver, you are required to submit this form to AST when transferring shares involving a shareholder who is deceased & whose state of residence calls for the filing of an Inheritance Tax Waiver.

What if I don’t wish to transfer my shares but need to change the name on the account due to marriage, divorce or Court Order? To change or correct a name or to alter an account title in any form is considered a transfer and a Medallion Guarantee Stamp is required. To process such, please complete the Stock Power form, listing your new name under the section for new owner and signing the Stock Power exactly as your name appears on the stock certificate or account title, adding the words “now known as” next to your signature. You should also sign the Stock Power form using your new name and obtain a Medallion Guarantee Stamp.

Can legal documents I submit to AST be returned?
No. AST will retain all legal documents we receive as a part of our permanent record of the transfer.

How long does the transfer process take?
Transfer requests received in good order by AST are routinely processed within 3 to 5 business days. All requests submitted which are not in good order, or which lack information enabling us to process the request will be returned to the sender with a notice advising why AST is unable to complete the transfer.

Where can I obtain details and information about my account?
You may access your account from our website or you may contact our Shareholder Services Department for details regarding your account. To view your account on-line, you will need both your AST 10 digit numerical account number (which is printed on all mailing that we send) and your Social Security Number to gain Shareholder Account Access.

What is a Waiver of Probate?
A Waiver of Probate is required when the Last Will and Testament has not been probated or Letter of Administration/Testamentary (official document appointing and executor/administrator/ or personal representative) have not been granted. In the event the estate has not been probated, we will accept a Small Estate Affidavit, Sworn Statement, or other named official notarized document attesting to the fact that the decedentís estate is not over the maximum amount (value) deemed by the State. This form may be obtained at the County Courthouse of the decedentís State of residence. In the event the decedentís estate does exceed the maximum amount allowed by the State, then you may request a Waiver of Probate.

In order for AST to provide you with a Waiver of Probate we must be notified in writing with a photocopy of the death certificate. A bond of indemnity to transfer the shares must be obtained, at your expense. A bond of indemnity protects AST and its clients from any liabilities incurred in the future. A bond of indemnity can also be obtained independently from your own insurance provider, or an insurance company of your choice. As a convenience, you may elect to have AST include your certificate(s) under our insurance provider, Travelers Casualty and Surety Company of America.

If you chose to be included under our insurance coverage, AST will send you a Waiver of Probate form to be completed, with signatures notarized. You will be required to pay 3% of the market value of the securities, and an administrative fee of $75. The bond fee is calculated at the time the Waiver of Probate is issued. This payment is required for the bond coverage needed to process the transfer of the certificate(s).

Please note that the Waiver of Probate bond fee is separate from the bond fee required if applicable for the issuance of a replacement certificate.

Important Suggestion:
Although not required, we suggest that you maintain for your records copies of all documentation submitted. We also recommend that you send your package to us using a delivery method that can be tracked. Such methods include certified or insured mail with return receipt required via your post office. You will receive a confirmation of our receipt of your package and you can judge the timeframe when the transaction will be completed. Normal transfers are completed within 3 to 5 business days of our receipt.