For existing stocks and bonds the transfer procedure can be difficult and time consuming. These problems can be reduced if you have a working relationship with a stockbroker who will agree to help you with the transfer. If a broker is not used, a letter for the particular stock should be sent to the transfer agent. A copy of the Certificate of Trust should be sent along with your letter to the transfer agent for his or her records. This will demonstrate to him or her that your Living Trust is valid and exists under the laws of your state. You will need to complete a Stock Transfer Form. This needs a medallion guarantee signature that may be obtained at either your local bank or your brokerage firm.
It is a much easier task for stocks you acquire in the future. You need only instruct your broker that title to the stocks should be taken in the name of your Living Trust.
The entire process can be simplified by holding the shares in a brokerage account rather than holding the individual certificates. If a brokerage account or “street name” is used, the local brokerage firm would simply open an account in the name of your Living Trust. All transactions could then be handled without assigning certificates or having to produce a copy of the Living Trust on each purchase or sale of shares.
U.S. Savings Bonds are transferred into your Living Trust by opening a Treasury Direct Account online. You will need a savings account already titled in the name of your Living Trust before you begin. You will need to complete a Treasury Form to retitle your savings bonds and mail them to the processing center to be reissued electronically.
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