FAQ

General FAQs

What is a Transfer Agent?

Companies that have publicly traded securities typically use transfer agents to keep track of the individuals and entities that own their stocks and bonds. Transfer agents perform three main functions:

  1. issue and cancel certificates to reflect changes in ownership,
  2. act as an intermediary for the company, and
  3. handle lost, destroyed or stolen certificates.

How do I sell my stock that I hold in certificate form?

You will need to contact a registered securities broker dealer. There are several securities broker dealers, so we recommend contacting a few to explore your options.


Can I sell my stock through West Coast Stock Transfer, Inc.?

No, West Coast Stock Transfer, Inc. is not a broker dealer. You will need to contact a registered securities broker dealer.


Can I access my account online?

Yes, we offer online access for shareholders at www.westcoaststocktransfer.com. You will need your Account Number and PIN. If you did not receive or misplaced these items, please contact us at (619) 664-4780.


How do I change my address?

You are able to update your address when you access your account online. Alternatively, you can complete and return the Shareholder Contact Change Form.


What is escheatment?

This is a process of remitting property, such as deposits or securities, to the appropriate state if the shareholder cannot be contacted for period of time. All states require “holders”, such as corporations and financial institutions, to report when property has been abandoned or unclaimed. For example, under California Law for example, the state requires holders to annually report and deliver property to the state after there has been no contact for three years. Many times this is because the account holder forgets they have an account or fails to update the holder with contact information after they have moved. In some cases, a shareholder may have passed away and their heirs have no knowledge of the property. In order to claim the property that was remitted to a state, you will need to contact the state directly.


What is the value of my stock?

We do offer stock quotation services but there are several free services available online (i.e. Nasdaq.com or otcmarkets.com).


What is a CUSIP?

CUSIP is an acronym for the Committee on Uniform Security Identification Procedures established by the American Bankers Association and administered by Standard and Poors. A CUSIP is nine-character alphanumeric code used to identify financial instruments such as stock and bonds for the purpose of clearing and settlement of trades.


What is restricted stock?

Restricted securities are securities acquired in unregistered, private sales from the issuing company or from an affiliate of the issuer. Investors typically receive restricted securities through private placement offerings, Regulation D offerings, employee stock benefit plans, as compensation for professional services, or in exchange for providing “seed money” or start-up capital to the company (source: www.sec.gov).

Restricted securities are usually issued with a ‘restricted legend’ (red stamp) on the stock certificate. (Sample below)

THE SHARES REPRESENTED BY THIS CERTIFICATE HAVE NOT BEEN REGISTERED UNDER THE SECURITIES ACT OF 1933, AS AMENDED (THE “ACT”), OR ANY OTHER SECURITIES LAWS AND MAY NOT BE OFFERED FOR SALE, SOLD, TRANSFERRED, ASSIGNED, HYPOTHECATED OR OTHERWISE DISPOSED EXCEPT (I) UPON EFFECTIVE REGISTRTION OF THE SECURITIES UNDER THE ACT AND OTHER APPLICABLE SECURITIES LAWS COVERING SUCH SECURITIES, OR (II) UPON ACCEPTANCE BY THE COMPANY OF AN OPINION OF COUNSEL IN SUCH FORM AND BY SUCH COUNSEL, OR OTHER DOCUMENTATION, AS IS SATISFACTORY TO COUNSEL FOR THE COMPANY TO THE EFFECT THAT SUCH REGISTRATION IS NOT REQUIRED.


How do I remove the restricted legend from my stock certificate?


Where do I mail stock certificates?

All documents, including stock certificates, should be mailed to: West Coast Stock Transfer, Inc., Attn: Transfers, 721 N. Vulcan Ave. Ste. 205, Encinitas, CA 92024. We recommend sending any sensitive materials by registered mail or other courier service that provides tracking information. We further recommend insuring your certificates. If a certificate is lost in the mail, we will require a surety bond to replace the lost certificates which will anywhere from 2-4% of the market value of the lost certificates (see Lost Certificates Section).


What is a Medallion Signature Guarantee Stamp?

See Medallion Signature Guarantees section.


How do I Transfer Ownership?


Forms of Ownership or Registration

Individual registration

The registration for an individual owner should be the first name, middle initial(s) and last name. Do not include any titles, references to professions, military or religious ranks; however, using heredity lineage such as Jr., Sr., I, II, etc. is recommended.

Correct Registration

JOHN T. DOE, JR.

Wrong Registration

DR. JOHN T. DOE (no professional designations)
JOHN T. DOE, ESQ. (no professional designations)
MR. JOHN T. DOE (no titles)
JOHN T. DOE JUNIOR (suffixes must be abbreviated)


Individual registrations – FAQs

What is needed to transfer stock to another individual or entity?

  • Stock Transfer Form with medallion signature guarantee stamp, and
  • Stock certificates intended to transfer.

What is needed to transfer stock to a broker dealer?

Broker dealer have their own policies and procedures for deposit shares. Please contact the broker dealer directly.


What is needed to transfer stock from a deceased shareholder?

  • Stock Transfer Form with medallion signature guarantee stamp,
  • Stock certificates intended to transfer,
  • Certified court document, often referred to as a Certificate of Appointment, naming the estate representative,
  • Copy of death certificate,
  • Notarized Affidavit of Domicile, and
  • An Inheritance Tax Waiver or Inheritance Tax Waiver stamp from the state of the deceased, if required by that state.

What is an Inheritance Tax Waiver and why do I need it?

The waiver provides us with consent from the tax division of the deceased’s estate to transfer securities without charging any taxes. Most states do not require an Inheritance Tax Waiver.


Which state should I used to determine whether an Inheritance Tax Waiver is required?

The state in which the deceased shareholder was a tax resident.


What is an Affidavit of Domicile?

An Affidavit of Domicile is a sworn statement made for the purpose of securing the transfer or delivery of property owned by the decedent at the time of death to a purchaser or the person legally entitled thereto under the state laws of the decedent’s legal residence.


Joint Tenancy with Rights of Survivorship registration (abbreviated JTWROS)

With Joint Tenancy with Rights of Survivorship, tenants agree, jointly and severally, that each one of them shall have authority to deal in securities. Each tenant owns an undivided equal interest in the security. A broker or transfer agent may accept instruction from any tenant but to transfer securities all tenant’s endorsement is required. Upon the death of a tenant, the interest of the deceased tenant transfers to the surviving tenant(s) usually avoiding probate. Unlike Tenants in Entirety where tenants can only be husband and wife, there a few restrictions on who can be tenants for JTWROS.

Correct Registration

JOHN DOE AND JANE DOE JTWROS

Wrong Registration

JOHN DOE OR JANE DOE (alternative ownership is not allowed)

JOHN DOE AND JANE DOE (with any tenancy clause, this registration is considered as Tenants in Common and will go probate upon the death or a tenant)


A joint tenant is decease, what documents are needed to remove the deceased’s name from the registration?

As the name implies, upon the death of a tenant, the interest of the deceased tenant transfers to the surviving tenant(s). The surviving tenant(s) must provide:

  1. Stock Transfer Form signed by the surviving tenant(s) with medallion signature guarantee stamp,
  2. Stock certificates intended to transfer or re-register,
  3. A Notarized Affidavit of Domicile by the surviving tenant(s),
  4. A copy of the death certificate of the deceased tenant, and
  5. An Inheritance Tax Waiver or Inheritance Tax Waiver stamp from the state of the deceased, if required by that state.

Both or all tenants are deceased, what documents are needed to transfer registration?

  1. Stock Transfer Form signed by the legal representative of the last deceased tenant with medallion signature guarantee stamp,
  2. Stock certificates intended to transfer,
  3. A Notarized Affidavit of Domicile by the legal representative of the last deceased tenant
  4. A copy of the death certificate of the first deceased tenant,
  5. An Inheritance Tax Waiver or Inheritance Tax Waiver stamp from the state for both or all of the deceased, if required by that state, and
  6. A certified copy of the certificate of appointment of the fiduciary of the last deceased tenant, dated within sixty days of the transfer.

Tenants in Common registration (TEN COM)

With this type of joint ownership registration, each tenant owns an interest in the security but unlike joint tenancy, the interest can be of an unequal amount and the each owner can freely transfer their interest without approval for any other owner. There can be any number of tenants with Tenants in Common but there are usually only two in joint tenancy. Upon the death of a tenant, their interest is not transferred to the surviving tenant(s) but rather is transferred in accordance with the deceased tenant’s estate plans.

Correct Registration

JOHN DOE AND JANE DOE TEN COM


Tenants by the Entirety registration (TEN ENT)

This type of joint ownership registration is available in most states but only for married couples. Each spouse owns an undivided equal interest in the security much like joint tenancy. Transfer requirements are the same as those for Joint Tenancy with Rights of Survivorship.

Correct Registration

JOHN DOE AND JANE DOE TEN ENT


Community Property registration (COMM PROP)

Correct Registration

JOHN DOE AND JANE DOE COMM PROP


Custodial registration

The Uniform Gifts to Minors Act Transfers (UGMA) and Uniform Transfers to Minors Act (UTMA) were created to allow for the gifting or transferring of assets to a child under the age of majority for their state without appointing a guardian or setting up a trust. The age of majority varies from state to state but the general principles are the same. The assets belong to the minor at all times and the custodian is the supervisor of the assets. The assets cannot be return back to the donor. Before making a gift or transfer of securities, it is advisable to consult the statues of the state of residence of the minor, donor, and custodian in regard to local provisions of the law, legal interpretations, eligibility, and possible tax consequences.

The security must be registered with the proper designation of the custodian, the minor, the name of the state, and the title of the Act. The shares are registered in the name of the custodian for the benefit of the minor; however, the minor’s social security number is used to establish the account.

Correct Registration

JOHN DOE, AS CUST FOR MARY DOE
UNDER THE CALIFORNIA UNIF. GIFTS TO MINOR ACT.

JOHN DOE CUST MARY DOE
CA UNIF. GIFTS TO MINOR ACT.


Custodial registrations – FAQs

As donor do I need to be the custodian?
No, you can designate yourself or another adult to be the custodian.


As custodian can I transfer the stock back into my name?

No, the stock is the property of the minor and the gift is irrevocable. You cannot transfer the shares back into your or another name.


What happens when the minor reaches the age of majority?

The custodian will need to transfer the shares into the minor’s name. The following documents are required to complete the transfer:

  1. Stock Transfer Form with medallion signature guarantee stamp,
  2. Stock certificates intended to transfer, and
  3. A copy of the minor’s birth certificate.

What happens when a custodian dies?

In most states, a successor custodian is appointed by the court. The court may appoint an adult member of the minor’s family or appoint a guardian.

  1. Stock Transfer Form with medallion signature guarantee stamp,
  2. Stock certificates intended to transfer,
  3. A copy of the death certificate of the deceased custodian, and
  4. A certified copy of the certificate of appointment of the successor custodian, dated within sixty days of the transfer.

What happens when a minor dies before reaching the age of majority?

Unlike a trust, custodial accounts do not allow you to designate what happens to the asset if the minor dies before receiving it. The shares become part of the minor’s estate. The certificate registered with the custodian clause should be endorsed by the custodian with a medallion signature guarantee stamp, thus terminating the custodianship. The following documents are required to complete the transfer:

  1. Stock Transfer Form with medallion signature guarantee stamp,
  2. Stock certificates intended to transfer, and
  3. A copy of the minor’s death certificate.

Trust registration

A trust is a legal entity created by a trustor (also known as grantor, settlor, and maker). The trust holds assets for a person or group who are called beneficiaries. The trust is controlled by one or more trustees. A trust that you create while you’re alive is called a “living trust” (also called “inter vivos”) as opposed a testamentary trust which is created by the last will and testament of the deceased. If the trust is revocable, you can change the articles of the trust at any time. If cannot change the articles of the trust, it is considered irrevocable.

To avoid complications it is important to provide a complete disclosure of the trust when requesting certificates to be registered into the trust. In a living trust, if the beneficiary is different than the trustee, the beneficiary should be included in the registration. We will need:

  1. The name(s) of the trustee(s)
  2. The nature of the trust,
  3. The maker of the trust,
  4. The date of the trust, and
  5. The beneficiary(s) of the trust

Correct Registration

JOHN DOE REVOCABLE LIVING TRUST
JOHN DOE, TTEE
U/A DTD 01/01/2001

JOHN DOE REVOCABLE LIVING TRUST
JOHN DOE, TTEE
U/A DTD 01/01/2001 FBO JIMMY DOE (in this case, Jimmy is the beneficiary)

Wrong Registration

JOHN DOE TRUST (incomplete name of trust, no type provided)
JANE DOE, TTEE
U/A DTD 01/01/2001

JOHN DOE TRUST (no trust date)
JANE DOE, TTEE