Transferring Stocks Into Your Trusts
If you desire, you do have the option of transferring stocks and other securities into your trust. It is important, however, that you follow all state and federal laws, along with all requirements put forth by the issuer of the stock. It is highly recommended you work with an attorney during this process.
To move forward, you’ll use a “securities assignment” document, which asks the transfer agent of that security for permission to transfer the stock or bond into your chosen trust. Each transfer agent may have different requirements about the information you need to submit, so be sure to find out those details.
If the stock is publicly traded, your signature as the stockholder must be guaranteed by a stock brokerage firm or a commercial bank. If you own brokerage accounts, you must send a letter to the brokerage firm to officially request the transfer. The firm will then need documentation of the trustee’s powers to deal with securities. Expect each brokerage firm to have its own requirements in this regard.
Finally, if you aim to transfer savings bonds, you must use FS Form 1851 to ensure the bonds are not legally “cashed in” by transferring them into your trust. That way, you won’t have to report income from those bonds on your tax return.
Get help from an attorney
Through all these processes, you’ll find it highly beneficial to work with an attorney. The paperwork for transferring stocks into trusts can be complicated, and when you consider the fact that many different transfer agents and brokerage firms have their own requirements, it quickly becomes too much information for one person to handle.
For further guidance and assistance, speak with an experienced Florida estate planning attorney at BaumannKangas Estate Law.