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Medallion stamps
Old 12-28-2015, 10:00 PM   #1
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Medallion stamps

Guys my mom needs to transfer a few paper shares we found in my late dad's drawer, I got the form online but it requires a medallion stamp. Mom's new bank doesn't do them, I tried 2 others and they refuse without a executor short form, we didn't do any court filing for executor since all other assets were joint. It's only $500 value and am hoping someone knows an option. I am surprised no one is required to do this with proper ID, but have found 3 banks later its all up to their discretion and nothing is in it for them, except compassion for a elderly widow.
Seems like this system is broken.


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Old 12-28-2015, 10:43 PM   #2
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I have no problems getting a Medallion Signature Guarantee from WellsFargo. I just did it a couple of weeks ago. The bank person said they require folks to have had an account with them for 6 months before they would do it.

Mom should go back to a real bank for 6 months, then get the MSG.
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Old 12-28-2015, 11:04 PM   #3
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We needed to get a medallion stamp to change a tiny account, from pre-married name to married name.
So we go with the form filled out, id, original marriage certificate, and the guy says we need to bring in a statement from the account so he can see it's in the pre-marriage name.

We will as those are the stupid rules, but really the place where the account is located is not going to change some random named account to the post-marriage name unless the pre-married name matches on the account and form.

So they can be very picky, and OP's issue is the deceased person didn't do probate. From the medallion perspective, it's the probate that is proof there will be no other claims on the share value.

OP- do you still have an account in late father's name ? If so you could cash out the shares into the account, and then use the death certificate to ensure the TOD.
Another idea if you have a Power of Attorney is use that since the share location does not know your father is deceased. (POA's are not effective after death). Might technically not be solidly legal, but your later father's shares should have gone to his wife anyhow.
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Old 12-29-2015, 01:05 AM   #4
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...and they refuse without a executor short form, we didn't do any court filing for executor since all other assets were joint. It's only $500 value and am hoping someone knows an option.
The bank needs to be sure that your Mom is entitled to the shares, because with a Medallion stamp they are guaranteeing the validity of the transaction.

I was in a similar situation earlier this year when my Mom died. She didn't name a Transfer-on-Death for the shares of her Prudential stock. Since this was the only thing that wasn't joint with my Dad and it was under a certain amount, Ohio allows you to petition for a Release of Estate from Administration. This is a do-it-yourself procedure. I think the whole thing cost $85 and took about an hour at the county probate court. Took the signed and sealed documents to the credit union, they gave us the Medallion stamp, and I sent it in to the stock folks.

Sounds like the executor short form you mentioned above is a similar process.
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Old 12-29-2015, 09:14 AM   #5
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...
Seems like this system is broken.
Not broken, IMO. When a Medallion is required, they are on the hook for the total transaction amount. It makes sense that they have no interest in taking on that risk, and I'd assume that in order to have Medallion authority, you'd need to follow some pretty strict rules.

I went through this process to help out my MIL when FIL passed, and we found that making an appointment at a local Fidelity B&M office worked well for us. They were very helpful and efficient.

Their stock certificates were held in the name of his trust, so the exact process may be different for you.

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Old 12-29-2015, 10:58 AM   #6
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I understand your frustration over this. Until about 3 years ago, Medallions didn't seem to be too difficult to get - BofA would do them for us. Then they stopped doing them completely. They own Merrill Lynch, and I wanted to donate some shares held by ML to a charity which last year required a Medallion. Neither BofA nor the local ML office would do it. I finally got the charity's local brokerage to do it. You might have better luck with a small brokerage or local bank. Good luck! (PS - ML changed their rules this year and no longer require Medallion for small transfers to charities.)
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Old 12-29-2015, 11:04 AM   #7
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I was able to get the Medallion stamp at my local Fidelity office. Of course I am also a customer there, don't think they would just do it for anyone.
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Old 12-29-2015, 11:04 AM   #8
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When a Medallion is required, they are on the hook for the total transaction amount. It makes sense that they have no interest in taking on that risk, and I'd assume that in order to have Medallion authority, you'd need to follow some pretty strict rules.
+1

Exactly. There would be no point in having the Medallion process and guarantee if the rules were lax and flexible.

I certainly don't wish Rothman and his mom any pita aggravation over this. This kind of stuff drives me nuts too. OTOH, I can't think of how to craft an exception to the process that wouldn't reduce the fraud prevention effectiveness of the existing process.
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Old 12-29-2015, 11:15 AM   #9
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Having suffered through the same frustration, the sentiment is easy to understand. I think there is a point in the process, however, that can be improved.

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OTOH, I can't think of how to craft an exception to the process that wouldn't reduce the fraud prevention effectiveness of the existing process.
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Mom's new bank doesn't do them,
The reason we look to banks to provide this service is they are responsible for verifying one's identity when an account is opened. This is a legal requirement, and the bank is unique in that respect. Why should they be allowed to opt out of a service that is infrequent but critical, and clearly a "core banking need".
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Old 12-29-2015, 11:21 AM   #10
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Having suffered through the same frustration, the sentiment is easy to understand. I think there is a point in the process, however, that can be improved.




The reason we look to banks to provide this service is they are responsible for verifying one's identity when an account is opened. This is a legal requirement, and the bank is unique in that respect. Why should they be allowed to opt out of a service that is infrequent but critical, and clearly a "core banking need".

I agree that all banks should offer medallion service. But I don't think that would fix the current issue OP is having.

Reading OPs post carefully, it seems the reason the banks he's visited that do offer medallion service but are refusing (opting out as you put it) to issue the medallion stamp is because Rothman's mom cannot provide a required document: an executor short form. Without that, they really don't know for certain that the stock certificate was to pass to Rothman's mother upon Rothman's father's death or not. Perhaps there was a will passing the stock to someone else. I believe the bank needs the executor short form to cover their butts.


If the stock owner were still alive, then a guarantee of the authenticity of his signature would be all that is required to transfer ownership. But he is not alive so an executor document is required. That I believe is the hitch, more than finding an institution that offers medallion service.

I know it seems that since Rothman and his mother are honest appearing and sounding people of unquestioned integrity and the amount is small ($500), the bank should just make the leap of faith and assume the responsibility without the documentation. But what if it was $1,000 or $5,000 or $xx,xxx?

I think they should follow the documented process.
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Old 12-29-2015, 11:38 AM   #11
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Back in 2008, I had to get a Medallion stamp when I asked to have around $300k in the cash proceeds of the sale of my company stock moved to my local bank account (BofA) when I left the company and ERed. It was a minor ordeal to get this done from BofA but I did and the transfer went through just fine.
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Old 12-29-2015, 10:07 PM   #12
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Ok, we opened new account for mom at a bank that will provide the medallion stamp... In 11 more months, as they told me their policy is 12 months customer. Now here's the next irony. This bank, dollar bank, is where mom and dad had their joint account for 20 years leaving in 2011 when they started to charge $2/ month for a paper statements. When I opened the account the branch manager said she'd ask for a waiver given the circumstances, I visited with mom Monday and was told we were turned down on the waiver request.
I still don't understand some of the arguments made here for proof of legitimate transfer, 11 more months won't change that in the least, the fact they had an account there for 20 years would seem to establish "relationship". If the argument is for executor short form then the transfer company should request that, they don't, in fact their form states clearly a "survivor" category to check under which capacity you are making the transfer claim, which I checked. It seems to me the capacity they are acting is for relationship which 20 years of joint account would do. The fact that in 11 more months any teller will give mom the stamp because the bank will then be able to vouch for her seems ironic.
By the way next lesson I am learning is utility companies, dad had all accounts in his name only, I am explaining to the woman who paid the bills for 64 years of marriage that we need to fill out these application forms and the account numbers must change, final and new meter readings, etc.


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Old 12-29-2015, 11:00 PM   #13
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Since everything except this small thing was on TOD, it's probably best to follow up on the executor short form.
You don't need a lawyer, just fill out the paperwork (that's all a lawyer would do), and submit it with the fee, etc.

This is encouraging me to update my stuff to TOD
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Old 12-29-2015, 11:20 PM   #14
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Earlier this year I had to get medallion stamps in order to transfer some IRA accounts from Capital One to Vanguard. This was a requirement of Capital One not Vanguard as I wasn't required to get the medallion when transferring from Wells Fargo to Vanguard. I got the medallion stamps at Wells Fargo right before closing my account with them and moving to banking entirely on line. Unfortunately Capital One proceeded to throw up one road block after another. It began to seem that they were just reluctant to let go of my funds. When I finally cleared all of their hurdles, 6 months had passed and I was told that the medallion stamp was no longer any good. At that point I no longer had a brick and mortar bank to get new medallion stamps from. I ended up finding a local credit union that allowed me to open an account with $5 and then they supplied me with the medallion stamps I needed later that same week when they had their person with the appropriate credentials at the branch. I was finally able to get Capital One to hand over my funds. I had joined originally when they were ING Direct and things went downhill fast after Capital One took over. I will never do business with them again after this experience.
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Old 12-30-2015, 12:30 AM   #15
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One, I doubt 'any teller' would give a medallian stamp....

When I worked in a trust dept (and we handled billions of dollars in securities), I was the only person who had one... I really do not know why I was issued one, but it was the only one in the office....


One of the things that I would always require is that the person signing had legal authority to sign.... I did not deal with estates, but would require the company's secretary to give a document with the company seal showing that the person had authority.... I could care less how long a relationship there was....
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Old 12-30-2015, 07:40 AM   #16
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The "minor ordeal" I alluded to earlier included a problem finding the stamp needed to place onto my document back in 2008. At one BofA branch (my home branch) I went to, the bank manager was out that day and her assistant manager lacked the key to get into her desk to get the stamp. I had to go to another branch (not too far away) whose manager was at the bank so she could use her stamp to place onto my document. This was only part of the minor ordeal I had to go through to get the stamp, however.
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Citizens will do medallions
Old 12-30-2015, 08:39 AM   #17
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Citizens will do medallions

I don't know if they are national but Citizens here in Massachusetts did it for me recently. I was moving an IRA from Northeast Investors Trust to Vanguard. NIT required the medallion.

I did not have an account at Citizens so I had to open the cheapest checking account, but I got the medallion the same day. The checking account is one of the ones you have to make an any amount deposit into to avoid a $15 service fee. I am using it to receive eBay sales payments so it has worked out OK.

Allow, I'm not kidding, about an hour to get through the whole account setup, medallion process.
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Old 12-30-2015, 09:22 PM   #18
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I jumped through these hoops earlier this year as executor for my father's estate, and DPoA for my mother who was in a nursing home with dementia. All of their joint assets were inherited by my mother. No brainer, right?

Many of the big banks (BoA) have stopped doing Medallion signatures guarantees because, as noted above, they're on the hook for the value of the transaction.

I had three bank/credit union options, and discovered that at two of them, the person with medallion signature authority didn't know the rules. Mother inherited a 7-figure IRA from Dad. I presented my Letters Testamentary as well as her DPoA. The doofus at the credit union where we all had accounts said he could only issue a medallion cert if I had the same 7-figure amount in the credit union. Uh, no.

Bank number 2 -- where they had a small joint account -- wouldn't do the medallion signature guarantee unless one of the account holders -- one dead, one in a nursing home -- appeared in person to sign. Uh, no. And anyway, they were guaranteeing my signature, not my parents'...

Third bank, BBVA-Compass, was perfect. My parents had about $25K in accounts there, and it was just a matter of finding a branch with someone certified in Medallion signatures. Once found, I visited her many times.

MORAL: some banks, like BoA/ML have discontinued medallion signature gurarantees system-wide. For other banks which do not have system-wide embargos, if you get a doofus answer, try another branch: the people there may know what they are doing. This is the branch-bank equivalent of phoning an investment bank during another shift if the first person you spoke to was clueless...


Regarding PoA after death: yeah, PoA stops at death. But since my mother inherited everything from my father (and he had a will and I was appointed Executor with Letters Testamentary) we never set up an "estate account." I just kept open an old account with both of their names on it, and when small checks payable to him came in, I endorsed them as "agent/DPoA" and deposited them because the bank staff didn't know he was dead.
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