I recently received this reader question:
My father passed away last year & in
his paperwork I found 150 shares that he purchased in 1953. These shares
from the Alaska Oil and Gas Development Co., Inc. Can you tell me how I can get this cashed in for my mom’s use. Her name
on the shares.
In many cases, such things are fairly straightforward, especially since your mom is already on the stock certificates. How to proceed depends on the policies of the company. Most companies require that you send in the stock certificates, along with a notarized proof of death, and written instructions as to what you would like done with the shares from there. Some companies require that you go through the paperwork required to remove the deceased’s name from the certificate before you can proceed to cash in the shares.
You can also transfer the shares to your father’s estate (if that is something you want to do). It is also possible to do this if there is no other name on the stock certificates, although the fact that your mother’s name is listed makes things considerably easier.
Contact the company. See if there is contact information in your father’s papers. You can look online for the information, but this might difficult, since the company might have been bought or broken up. In some cases, your stocks might be worthless, depending on the current state of the company.
One thing you might try is to contact the State of Alaska for more information on business records. Or you could hire a broker or other financial professional to help you figure out what to do with the stock certificates. You will have to pay for these services, of course, but the access to the sort of resources that these folks offer might be worth it. Be careful, though! You want to find out how the professional is paid, since you could pay a great deal and then find out the stock certificates are worthless.
Disclaimer: I am not an investment or financial professional. Nothing in this piece or on this Web site should be construed as investment or financial advice. Before making investment or financial decisions, do your own research and/or consult with an investment or financial professional. All investment comes with the risk of loss, and many financial decisions could result in loss. You are responsible for your own investment and financial decisions and any loss that may result from your decisions.