As a matter of law, securities are considered a movable assets. As with real estate, money, car or anything you own, you can sell or buy them, give them away, bequeath and even vest them in trustees. The question is how to conduct it.
Shares are a good instrument for accumulating personal ‘pension fund’. Unlike funds that are stored, for example, in some fully funded pension plan, this money will be inherited by the immediate family.
How to inherit shares?
Legacy for shares can be obtained under the will or by law. In the first case, the property will be acquired by the person set in the will. In the second case, by the immediate family.
After the death of a shareholder, the heir becomes the holder of the shares. This does not happen automatically:
• the heir appeals to the notary;
• the notary receives an account statement from the Register, indicating the name and last place of residence;
• the notary requests information about the market value of shares (provided only if the securities are listed on the stock exchange);
• the registrar blocks the personal account of the deceased;
• the heir draws up a document confirming the right to inheritance;
• the registrar opens a new account and transfers the shares to the heir's name.
If the heir is under 14 years old, his or her interests are represented by an official guardian (parent). If there are no heirs at all, the shares are transferred to the state (but in some countries the legislation may differ).
On the other hand, if there is more than one heir, shares can be divided between heirs. New owners may dispose of their parts to their liking, even sell - to other heirs or, if they refuse, to third parties.
How to find out if the decendent held shares? It's simple: ask a notary. He will put inquiries to registrars, banks and tax office. It is the easiest to find out about stocks and bank deposits in the tax office: they ‘accumulate’ income information.
How to re-register shares to a relative?
It requires a lot of time and expense (at least, for the services of a lawyer) to register a will, and it is much easier to transfer shares under a contract of sale or gift. With the gift agreement everything is a bit easier. But the costs still remain. In this case, the person receiving the property must pay the fee. Except for the immediate family. You give shares to your son, daughter, or spouse without taxes.
How can I hand over my shares under trust management of a relative?
Trust management may be required if you are not able to handle securities, but for some reason you cannot or would not sell them. The shares are often managed by the immediate family. Bu the agreement, they can cooperate with the broker on behalf of the owner, as well as sell and purchase shares directly.
It is better to take care in advance of inheritance issues. At least, tell your relatives that you hold shares. In this case, the process of re-registration will be easier and faster.