transfering stock to myself

Thirty plus years ago I was enrolled in a stock buying program with my then employer.A very big corporation still in existance today.
I still get dividend checks every quarter.
My problem. They have been going to my parents house all this time and I used my Dad as a joint tennant. Well Dad is sick and 80 years old. I had him sign his ownership over to my wife over a year ago and changed addresses at the same time.
Nothing has changed as far as the dividend checks go. They still go to my folks’ house and still have Dad as co owner.

Should I be concerned or does it normally take a long time for something like that to happen.

The bank that handles the dividends has changed three times in thirty years.

Any suggestions as to what to do??

Call the home office and ask for stockholder relations.

If you transfer stock there is the issue of capital gains, isn’t there? Wouldn’t it save money to just keep them with dad?

In my experience, it shouldn’t take a long time, but it does.

After I moved, I tried to notify my brokerage of the new address. It eventually took three phone calls, two letters and five months before the monthly statements started coming directly to my new apartment. Every time I asked them what address was currently in their records, they would cheerfully read off the old one.

Basically, just keep at them to change their information. If phone calls don’t seem to work, put it in writing. If that doesn’t work, ask to speak with a manager. Something will eventually get done, but it can take a while to get them moving.

Maybe a cattle prod would help. Give it a try and let us know.


Good point Handy.

But Dads got lung Cancer and ,well I don’t know. Don’t want this to get tied up in inheritance since it is all really mine. Considering the times back then, Vietnam and all ,I thought it would be a good idea to have two owners.

I guess I should keep on them and maybe someday…

Since you are trying to change the legal title of the ownership from joint tenants in common to sole ownership, it might be quicker to open up a new account and transfer the stock into that. Of course, it would speed up the process if you attached a letter signed by your Dad and notarized saying he gives you permission to take ownership of the stock. And, IIRC (really don’t remember), you could end up with some tax consequences in terms of capital gains on your ‘father’s half.’ I really don’t remember too much about that though, check around first.

The best advice is to contact shareholder relations/shareholder services by phone or website, get their forms, fill them out and send them back in certified mail ASAP.

A notarized document won’t necessarily suffice because stocks sometimes require that the signature be “guaranteed”, not notarized. A signature guarantee must be done by a bank officer, not a notary public.

I was watching one of those PBS financial series & the guy said to keep the stock in the folks’ name to avoid the capital gains tax. Even when they are 80.

Just wanted to post a quick warning about transfering things from elderly sick people. One of my friends mothers became very senile in her old age. Rather than just getting power of attorney over her affairs, he just had all the money transfered into his name, so he could write all the checks. He had no intention of stealing it or anything, he just figured it was the easiest way to deal with her bills. It ended up screwing everything over royally because(and maybe some lawyer can explain exactly why) it triggered some catch designed to stop people from trying to get around inheritance taxes. The end result is that his mother no longer has medicare, is deterorating quickly healthwise. Since your situation was joint to begin with its probably diffewrent however.

I wonder if I’ll really owe anything anyway since the tax ID number is my SS number. I’ve been paying on the dividends all these years.

Well, I don’t know. I would just look around in the phone book & find some big local stock comp. & go see them. Im sure they would be more than happy to offer assistance.

Warning: I am not a lawyer or accountant, and I do not know the specific laws of your state. The following is based on general property and tax principles, and you should consult a licensed professional about your situation.

If you actually held the stock in joint tenancy with your dad (rather than tenancy in common), it would pass wholly to you directly (without operation of his will) at his death - his interest is extinguished when he dies, leaving you as the sole owner (I am not sure about the tax consequences of this scenario, especially since the stock was apparently part of your compensation). However, if he has executed a transfer to your wife, she and you now hold the property as tenants in common, which means that each of you may separately devise your share of the stock. If he sold it to your wife, that should have triggered payment of tax on any accumulated capital gains at the time of transfer. If he gave it to her, she probably receives it with his original basis, so if she ultimately sells it, she will have to pay capital gains on the entire difference between what he/you acquired it for and what it is now worth.

If he had a share transferable by will (tenancy in common), and willed the stock to you or your wife, then you get a new basis at the time of death. So no one would have to pay the capital gains on the appreciation between acquisition and the time of his death. Thus, it is usually in the best interests of heirs for elderly relatives to keep their assets, rather than transfer them before death, as long as the total assets are small enough that no estate tax will be due.

If this is a significant block of stock, you should consult a tax adviser and/or estate planner to determine the best thing to do at this point in terms of transfers.

If your only goal is to make the company send the dividends to the right place, you might try sending them a registered letter with a copy of the document transferring the stock to your wife - that usually makes people wake up and notice that this is something important that they should attend to.