I am about to inherit a substantial amount of stock. All I want to do is sell all of it as soon as possible. (I am convinced that the coming crash is just around the corner, but I am not asking you about your opinion on that.)
I think I have to first open a brokerage account, but which firm would be the best to help me with my goal of selling all my stock for the highest price and charge me the lowest fees?
First check with your executor to see how they want to handle the transaction. They might be able to sell all the stock themselves and just give you the cash.
If not, any of the online discount brokerages will work fine. (ETrade, Ameritrade, etc.) You can open an account and should be able to transfer the shares in from the estate via ACATS. Then just hit the sell button.
Your executor should be able to provide you with a current cash value figure for that stock.
If for any reason you are prohibited from taking possession of that stock (Sarbanes-Oxley, among a Dozen others) the executor should be able to liquidate that stock and cut you a check from their attorney account for the stated cash value.
INAL… Go Call One… licensed in your state… and who practices this specialty. (estate law?)
Nitpick: not the executor of the estate but the administrator of the estate (who is appointed by the executors and is often an executor but need not be).