The client came to Share Data needing assistance to sell two of the estate’s shareholdings in AbbVie Inc and Abbott Laboratories, both U.S. listed securities.
The AbbVie Inc shares were held electronically and the Abbott Laboratories shares were held in a certificated format.
We provided all of the forms required to send to the transfer agent and completed as much as possible while advising our client on how to complete the remainder. One form that was required was a W8-BEN. By registering this form on the new holder’s account, it meant a reduced amount of tax was deducted from dividends as the United Kingdom has a tax treaty with the U.S. Medallion stamped transfer forms were also required. Share Data is a member of STAMP and as such we are registered to provide this and do not need to go to outside sources.
We set up an account with our Stockbroker to enable the shares, once transferred, to be either held in an account with them or sold immediately. We requested the transfer agents for the certificated shares to be held electronically by the new shareholder. If the shares are held on a certificate, they would need to be dematerialised (put into an electronic holding). This can take up to 8 weeks and a charge would be made by the Stockbrokers as they cannot be sold in this format.
In this case, our client requested that the shares were sold and the proceeds paid into the solicitor account. Individuals, with their own shares, may want to open an account with the Stockbrokers and the dividends would then be collected and paid into an account of their choice, in sterling. The shares can also be sold very easily, usually with just a phone call.