Are your Share Certificates in order?

28th July 2021

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by Holly Webb, Paralegal, Private Client Department

Do you own stocks and shares in one or more companies? Do you know where your Share Certificates are?

With many of us currently spending more time at home, now is the perfect time to make sure your personal documents are in order.

Most shareholdings are now held electronically (known as Corporate Nominee) but there is still a large amount that are certificated. A certificated holding means that you will have been issued with an original paper Share Certificate when you purchased the shares. This is an important document, and you should therefore make sure you keep it somewhere safe.

If the company in which you hold shares is taken over or merges with another company then you will usually be issued a new Share Certificate in the new company name thereby cancelling the previous one. It is therefore also important to ensure that your address details are kept to up to date with the Share Registrar in order to continue receiving any future correspondence from them.

Without the original Share Certificates, shareholdings cannot be sold or transferred to another person.

Should you be unable to locate the original Share Certificate, a Letter of Indemnity would need to be applied for from the Share Registrar and signed in order to have the Certificate cancelled and a new one produced. There is an indemnity fee payable to do this and this usually falls within the region of £70-£100 but can be higher depending on the value of the shareholding. By signing a Letter of Indemnity, you are confirming that the original Share Certificate is missing and, if you should find it following the issue of a new one, that you will return it to the Share Registrar.

It is important to notify the Share Registrar as soon as you realise that your Share Certificates are missing so that this can be documented on their records and a restriction placed on the Certificates to prevent them being used fraudulently.

In the event of the death of the shareholder, the shareholding must be either sold or transferred and missing Share Certificates can cause unnecessary delays to the administration of the estate as well as extra costs.

Should you require any assistance in administering the estate of someone who has died please contact a member of our Probate department at any one of our five offices.

Find out more about Holly Webb

Find out more about Wills and Estates

This article aims to supply general information, but it is not intended to constitute advice. Every effort is made to ensure that the law referred to is correct at the date of publication and to avoid any statement which may mislead. However, no duty of care is assumed to any person and no liability is accepted for any omission or inaccuracy. Always seek advice specific to your own circumstances.  Fraser Dawbarns LLP are always happy to provide such advice.

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