Let us navigate the often complex process of selling and transferring shareholdings in North America for you

In the United States and Canada, it can be extremely difficult to sell or transfer shareholdings and the process can even differ from state to state. In some cases, a Federal Transfer Certificate may be required to obtain tax clearance from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), a Medallion Signature Guarantee might be needed for shares traded on the US or Canadian Stock Exchanges, or assets may have become dormant and therefore escheated to the state. We are experts in dealing with complicated North American assets so we can help you deal with all these challenges. 

Highly experienced in selling or transferring North American shareholdings

We have the know-how and proven processes to verify, transfer or sell North American shareholdings. With our many years of experience, we will complete all the necessary paperwork, verify the shareholding and transfer or sell the asset, as required. 

Obtain tax clearance

If the shareholdings and funds are worth more than $60,000USD at the time of death, you’ll be required to obtain Federal Tax Clearance from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). This can often be a tedious task which requires a substantial amount of time and effort. We can do the hard work for you, as either part of the share sale process or as a standalone service.

Retrieve escheated assets

When a US account becomes dormant for the specified time period as set out by state law, it is transferred to the state and usually liquidated. If this happens, the escheated funds can still be reclaimed, however, it is often a lengthy and protracted process.

We have extensive experience of different State processes and can help recover escheated assets, maximising the value of the estate for the beneficiaries. On average, we have found that claims for escheated funds take approximately 18 months to 2 years to complete. However, this can substantially increase for those without the knowledge of how to efficiently deal with escheatment.

Expedited stock transfers

If you are administering an estate with shares traded on the US or Canadian Stock Exchanges, it’s very likely you’ll need a Medallion Signature Guarantee before the shares can be transferred or sold. We can help manage that process for you, ensuring efficient share transfers, and helping you administer your clients’ assets much sooner than would have otherwise been possible.

Case study: Complicated Canadian shareholdings

Title Research was instructed to sell two Canadian shareholdings, on behalf of our solicitor client who was on the verge of retiring. The solicitor had been trying to sell the Canadian shares for eight years and hoped to do so before she retired.

The Canadian shareholdings were held in the joint names of three individuals, and two of these individuals had died. Each deceased individual had appointed four executors, additionally all the share certificates were also missing.

Title Research worked closely with our client to explain the whole process and ensure instructions were included with all of the paperwork. We provided updates every two weeks whilst the client worked with the nine individuals who needed to sign the paperwork. Once the paperwork had been signed, the missing share certificates were reissued and the shares were sold.

Our solicitor client had been trying to sell the Canadian shareholdings for eight years and Title Research managed to complete the work in just nine months. Our client was incredibly complimentary and grateful. She could also now retire with peace of mind that the estate was now closed.

Related services

If you’re administering North American assets, you may also find these asset repatriation services useful.

Administering Foreign Assets

Administering Foreign Assets

We not only deal with North American assets, but we can also administer overseas assets in most jurisdictions around the globe.

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International Currency Transfers

International Currency Transfer

When you’re repatriating assets, we can save you time and money with excellent exchange rates and fee-free currency transfers.

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Related content

These useful resources aim to help you further understand how to overcome the pitfalls of dealing with North American assets.

Escheatment blog

Blog: What is escheatment? And why you should be aware of it

The process of escheatment often affects North American assets when an account has been dormant for some time. Learn why you should be aware of escheatment in this informative blog post.

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Overseas assets guide

Guide: Dealing with overseas assets in estate administration

Dealing with overseas assets can be complex as each country has different rules, forms and processes to navigate. This guide shares how to overcome the challenges associated with foreign assets.

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