Medallion Signature guarantee?

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davewi
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Medallion Signature guarantee?

Post by davewi » Mon Sep 10, 2018 3:37 pm

My mother recently passed away and I am the executor of her estate. She held some stock in an individual account that I need to transfer to an estate account prior to distribution to the heirs. Unfortunately, I need to get a medallion signature guarantee on the forms requesting the transfer to the estate account. I can't find anyone to do this. The firm holding the stock is on the other side of the country and my local bank won't do it. Has anyone else encountered this problem before? I'm stuck.

Any help would be appreciated.

essbeer
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Re: Medallion Signature guarantee?

Post by essbeer » Mon Sep 10, 2018 3:41 pm

I've done it at my local Wells Fargo before. Took a while to find somebody at the branch who knew what I was talking about.

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KlingKlang
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Re: Medallion Signature guarantee?

Post by KlingKlang » Mon Sep 10, 2018 3:43 pm


Freefun
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Re: Medallion Signature guarantee?

Post by Freefun » Mon Sep 10, 2018 3:46 pm

My local chase bank did one for me at no charge.
Remember when you wanted what you currently have?

NotWhoYouThink
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Re: Medallion Signature guarantee?

Post by NotWhoYouThink » Mon Sep 10, 2018 4:26 pm

2) In general, STAMP Participants may consider the following best practices before granting Medallion Signature Guarantees:


The individual seeking the Medallion Signature Guarantee has a continuing customer relationship with the Participant.
This is from the link above. And it's the hard part. Our local bank (which is listed as a stamp provider in the link above) will only provide MSG for private banking clients, even though we have been customers for over 30 years. And we don't do business at any other banks locally. It does get to be an issue.

When moving accounts inherited from FIL, the "old" firm (Wells Fargo) provided the MSG, but they weren't happy about it.

Good luck. It's kind of a no win for the provider - they are certifying that
1) you are who you claim to be and that
2) you are authorized to make the transaction you are making.

And if they are wrong they are liable up to the amount of the transaction. Who wants to take that on?

mlipps
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Re: Medallion Signature guarantee?

Post by mlipps » Mon Sep 10, 2018 4:39 pm

Freefun wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 3:46 pm
My local chase bank did one for me at no charge.
Will add that they did it for me on the basis of only a credit card account relationship--no checking account. Local branch manager seemed to have a lot of discretion in this though.

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Ged
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Re: Medallion Signature guarantee?

Post by Ged » Mon Sep 10, 2018 4:40 pm

I did a Google search and came up with this.

https://esignatureguarantee.com/pricing ... t0QAvD_BwE

Not free but if you have no alternatives, it may be worth the $149.

sport
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Re: Medallion Signature guarantee?

Post by sport » Mon Sep 10, 2018 4:48 pm

You might contact other banks in your area and explain the situation. You could promise to move your banking business to them if they could provide the MSG. I would make those contacts in person at the nearest branch offices.

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Artsdoctor
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Re: Medallion Signature guarantee?

Post by Artsdoctor » Mon Sep 10, 2018 5:49 pm

davewi wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 3:37 pm
My mother recently passed away and I am the executor of her estate. She held some stock in an individual account that I need to transfer to an estate account prior to distribution to the heirs. Unfortunately, I need to get a medallion signature guarantee on the forms requesting the transfer to the estate account. I can't find anyone to do this. The firm holding the stock is on the other side of the country and my local bank won't do it. Has anyone else encountered this problem before? I'm stuck.

Any help would be appreciated.
I'm sorry for your loss and I'm sorry you're having such difficulty with the medallion signature guarantee. MSGs can be very difficult to get, so you're not alone here.

When a bank offers a MSG, they're accepting the financial liability associated with verifying that you are who you say you are. It's unlikely that an institution will offer a MSG if they haven't done business with you for a while.

Here's an article which isn't really academic but offers a few work-arounds.

Best of luck.

https://www.lynalden.com/medallion-signature-guarantee/

FunnelCakeBob
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Re: Medallion Signature guarantee?

Post by FunnelCakeBob » Mon Sep 10, 2018 5:55 pm

I've had luck with Chase. They didn't ask or confirm if I was a their customer, even though I had a checking account and credit card with them at the time. Be prepared by bringing the form for the stamp and the latest brokerage statement from the individual account, along with photo ID.

SoAnyway
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Re: Medallion Signature guarantee?

Post by SoAnyway » Mon Sep 10, 2018 6:15 pm

davewi wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 3:37 pm
My mother recently passed away and I am the executor of her estate. She held some stock in an individual account that I need to transfer to an estate account prior to distribution to the heirs. Unfortunately, I need to get a medallion signature guarantee on the forms requesting the transfer to the estate account. I can't find anyone to do this. The firm holding the stock is on the other side of the country and my local bank won't do it. Has anyone else encountered this problem before? I'm stuck.

Any help would be appreciated.
I'm sorry for your loss, OP. :( Been there, done that - It stinks.
I'm surprised your local bank won't do it, but evidently they're not part of the STAMP program.

In my own case, all of the banks my deceased parent had accounts at - and all banks that my siblings who lived in the area had accounts at - were happy to oblige. Are there any larger banks in your area? If so, go into a branch (whether or not you or your Mom had an account there) and ask if they can do a medallion signature guarantee. If they'll only do it for "customers" and you're not one, figure out the cheapest way to become one (open a savings account, apply for a no fee credit card, whatever). If my experience is any indication and your Mom had shares in a bunch of different companies and/or more than one brokerage account, you're going to need to get medallion signature guarantees on a bunch of different documents over the coming months... Best wishes.
Last edited by SoAnyway on Mon Sep 10, 2018 6:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Jack FFR1846
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Re: Medallion Signature guarantee?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Mon Sep 10, 2018 6:18 pm

You don't say where you are. If you're a Digital Credit Union member, they're free. I don't know about other credit unions, but expect they might offer them.
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SoAnyway
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Re: Medallion Signature guarantee?

Post by SoAnyway » Mon Sep 10, 2018 6:36 pm

NotWhoYouThink wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 4:26 pm
And if they are wrong they are liable up to the amount of the transaction. Who wants to take that on?
Agreed. That's why I recommended that OP go to a large bank if those with whom Mom/OP/heirs had relationships aren't willing. The Wells Fargo/Citi/Chase banks of the world can afford to give their branch managers more discretion since the transactional amounts (even in the aggregate) are a drop in the bucket relative to the rest of their balance sheet.

BTW, for anyone reading whose heirs will be dealing with your investment accounts once you're gone, please do them a favor: Consolidate as much as possible ahead of time, and leave clear instructions. For anyone reading who only has online (no brick-and-mortar) banking relationships, there actually IS reason to have *some* type of account at the latter. BTW, most of my personal banking is online too. But bnm banks offer some convenient services I occasionally need, and it costs me nothing to have an established relationship at one. Just sayin'.

tony_roach
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Re: Medallion Signature guarantee?

Post by tony_roach » Mon Sep 10, 2018 6:44 pm

Went through this last year when my grandmother passed away. I went to my local branch bank and they were able to stamp my paperwork. If your bank doesn't do it I like the suggestion made earlier to shop your business to an alternate bank to see if they're willing to get you the medallion signature.

123
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Re: Medallion Signature guarantee?

Post by 123 » Mon Sep 10, 2018 6:50 pm

Is a medallion signature guarantee required in all circumstances for your transactions with the account or only for stock share transfers? Is there an option to sell the stocks in the existing account, based on your authority regarding the estate and then for the proceeds to be payable to you on behalf of the estate (which you could then deposit into the estate account)?

Some financial organizatons have rules that apply in one circumstance but not in another. Workarounds may make things not look as tidy as you would prefer them to be but sometimes workarounds are available. Perhaps you can open an account on behalf of the estate at the existing custodian, move the assets into it, and then sell them or transfer them somewhere else. Transactions seen as ownership changes by a financial organization are the ones that cause the biggest headaches.
Last edited by 123 on Mon Sep 10, 2018 6:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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OnTrack
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Re: Medallion Signature guarantee?

Post by OnTrack » Mon Sep 10, 2018 6:54 pm

I recommend that everyone have an account at a brick and mortar bank and as a condition for opening the account, verify that they can issue medallion signature guarantees to their customers. Chances are you will need that service sooner or later.

Mitchell777
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Re: Medallion Signature guarantee?

Post by Mitchell777 » Mon Sep 10, 2018 6:57 pm

I had mine done by a bank manager at my bank. It was not the bank my mother used. Your estate attorney should know the banks and individuals that can do it. I know when I had it done the bank manager told me she had just been talking to a paralegal from my attorney's office.

fabdog
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Re: Medallion Signature guarantee?

Post by fabdog » Mon Sep 10, 2018 7:07 pm

As noted above, the manager has lots of discretion... we have an account with a B&M national bank for this purpose (medallion stamp/signature guarantee and safe deposit box). Last time we needed one, branch would not provide. Called another branch 5 miles away and they were happy to accommodate.

Hopefully our local branch gets a new manager soon, the previous manager was great, as was the manager at the other branch

do keep asking around :)

Mike

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MP123
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Re: Medallion Signature guarantee?

Post by MP123 » Mon Sep 10, 2018 7:37 pm

MSGs are a royal pain. I once had to fly to another city to get one. Okay, I was there on other business anyway but no local bank would give me one and I had to appear in person at the bank that held the trust account.

They seem to be required when retitling or changing names on brokerage accounts. If you are authorized on the account you may be able to sell the assets and transfer the cash to the new account. Tax consequences to that of course.

There also seem to be different levels of MSGs so a local bank that will guarantee a $10,000 transaction may not be able to do a $1,000,000 one.

The big problem for a bank other than the destination bank is that they get nothing but risk from doing the MSG. I don't blame them for not wanting to do them.

Good luck!

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nisiprius
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Re: Medallion Signature guarantee?

Post by nisiprius » Mon Sep 10, 2018 7:59 pm

OnTrack wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 6:54 pm
I recommend that everyone have an account at a brick and mortar bank and as a condition for opening the account, verify that they can issue medallion signature guarantees to their customers. Chances are you will need that service sooner or later.
+1

I would like davewi to drop at least more of a hint about the bank. I'd like to know whether it's a small local bank, or a small local branch of a gigantic bank. I don't have any good answers, because the problem is that banks that do provide them usually require you to have had the account for some number of months.

I agree that everyone should know that medallion signature guarantees are a customary bank service, that eventually most people need one--and make it a precondition for opening an account that the bank provide them.

I admit that in between the times I need them I don't check just to see that they still do them. I have needed medallion signature guarantees three or four times within the last twenty years. My local brick-and-mortar bank, not huge, $400 million in assets, has always done them at no cost. We got them when we had low total balances at the bank, it isn't something they do for their best customers, it something they do for their customers, period. I need to call in first, because the only person who does them is a VP and he isn't always in--not on weekend, for example--so it's not as easy as getting something notarized, but it's not hard.

Medallion signature guarantees are a royal nuisance, and maybe a racket, and they have got to figure out something better--but for now life is what it is.
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Geologist
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Re: Medallion Signature guarantee?

Post by Geologist » Mon Sep 10, 2018 8:20 pm

I'm assuming that the OP is settling the estate on his own. I am involved in my mother's estate now (with my brother) and each time one of us has required a medallion signature guarantee, the paralegal with the lawfirm handling the estate has dealt with it. This is one of the things that we're paying for, I suppose. (As my mother lived in one state and my brother and I live in two other states, we needed representation anyway.)

jalbert
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Re: Medallion Signature guarantee?

Post by jalbert » Tue Sep 11, 2018 12:26 am

When a bank offers a MSG, they're accepting the financial liability associated with verifying that you are who you say you are. It's unlikely that an institution will offer a MSG if they haven't done business with you for a while.
The bank insures the MSG liability. They usually do this up to a limit and if the account being transacted on is larger than their insurance limit they may refuse the MSG.
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123
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Re: Medallion Signature guarantee?

Post by 123 » Tue Sep 11, 2018 1:07 am

jalbert wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 12:26 am
When a bank offers a MSG, they're accepting the financial liability associated with verifying that you are who you say you are. It's unlikely that an institution will offer a MSG if they haven't done business with you for a while.
The bank insures the MSG liability. They usually do this up to a limit and if the account being transacted on is larger than their insurance limit they may refuse the MSG.
It's been a few years since I had to get an MSG but I've done a number of them over the years. I don't think I was ever asked for an indication (statement) that established how much the MSG was guaranteeing. Of course I was having them done by a couple of "big banks" so I guess they figured whatever business I was doing fit within their limit. Of course if they know "you" are "you" then the amount doesn't matter and it's just customer service.
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NotWhoYouThink
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Re: Medallion Signature guarantee?

Post by NotWhoYouThink » Tue Sep 11, 2018 6:58 am

Knowing that "you are you" is good enough for a notary, but for an MSG they must also know that "you" are authorized to make or approve the transaction you are signing for.

Good suggestion above to see if the law firm working with the executor can make a referral for an MSG stamp.

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randomizer
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Re: Medallion Signature guarantee?

Post by randomizer » Tue Sep 11, 2018 7:23 am

These darn things feel like relics from the past century (or two). I can only hope they will go the same way the dinosaurs went, and sooner rather than later.
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Murgatroyd
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Re: Medallion Signature guarantee?

Post by Murgatroyd » Tue Sep 11, 2018 8:35 am

Fidelity makes this easy

wolf359
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Re: Medallion Signature guarantee?

Post by wolf359 » Tue Sep 11, 2018 8:49 am

123 wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 6:50 pm
Is a medallion signature guarantee required in all circumstances for your transactions with the account or only for stock share transfers? Is there an option to sell the stocks in the existing account, based on your authority regarding the estate and then for the proceeds to be payable to you on behalf of the estate (which you could then deposit into the estate account)?

Some financial organizatons have rules that apply in one circumstance but not in another. Workarounds may make things not look as tidy as you would prefer them to be but sometimes workarounds are available. Perhaps you can open an account on behalf of the estate at the existing custodian, move the assets into it, and then sell them or transfer them somewhere else. Transactions seen as ownership changes by a financial organization are the ones that cause the biggest headaches.
This is a very good question. I attempted to do an in-kind stock transfer in the past, and could not find anyone to do the Medallion Signature. Every major bank, community bank, and credit union I visited said no, even if I had an account with them. In some cases I had called ahead to verify if they did the service, then went in, and the branch manager would say no.

In the end, I sold the ETFs and conducted the transfer in cash. No medallion was required for the broker to write a check.

I don't know if this applies to the OP.

Pigeye Brewster
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Re: Medallion Signature guarantee?

Post by Pigeye Brewster » Tue Sep 11, 2018 9:35 am

123 wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 1:07 am
jalbert wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 12:26 am
When a bank offers a MSG, they're accepting the financial liability associated with verifying that you are who you say you are. It's unlikely that an institution will offer a MSG if they haven't done business with you for a while.
The bank insures the MSG liability. They usually do this up to a limit and if the account being transacted on is larger than their insurance limit they may refuse the MSG.
It's been a few years since I had to get an MSG but I've done a number of them over the years. I don't think I was ever asked for an indication (statement) that established how much the MSG was guaranteeing. Of course I was having them done by a couple of "big banks" so I guess they figured whatever business I was doing fit within their limit. Of course if they know "you" are "you" then the amount doesn't matter and it's just customer service.
The stamps are coded with the transaction dollar limit of the institution that is providing the signature guarantee. If it exceeds the limit, the financial institution receiving the document may reject it.

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Artsdoctor
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Re: Medallion Signature guarantee?

Post by Artsdoctor » Wed Sep 12, 2018 12:39 pm

OnTrack wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 6:54 pm
I recommend that everyone have an account at a brick and mortar bank and as a condition for opening the account, verify that they can issue medallion signature guarantees to their customers. Chances are you will need that service sooner or later.
This is certainly a reasonable idea to start with. However, it's important to remember that this is a fluid situation. The number of banks offering MSGs over the years has contracted, so what you see now may not be what you see in the future.

Although I usually try very hard to make decisions based on what exists what now, I have to believe that a small institution would be more vulnerable to closing up an MSG offering than a larger institution. I hate to make suggestions based on anecdotal experience but that has happened in Los Angeles, and even the larger banks have contracted down to certain locations that offer MSGs.

The BEST scenario is that MSGs become extinct. However, short of that, they'll probably become harder to obtain, not easier.

For what it's worth, Vanguard has done away with its MSG requirements IF the people involved with their voice verification program.

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