I'm executor of an estate where the decedent had a mutual fund. In order to sell the shares and transfer the proceeds to the estate, I need to acquire a Medallion signature guarantee. The bank for the estate bank account doesn't offer this service. I've gone to other banks and they won't provide it either since I'm not a customer.
Does anybody have a solution? Am I going to have to suck it up and open a bank account so I can get this done? If I don't sell the shares and they are transferred to me when the estate is closed (I'm the sole heir), will I still need a Medallion signature guarantee to sell the shares.
As you have learned, a Medallion signature is given by a financial institution, which makes that institution liable for the full value of the shares/cash in an account. That is why a Medallion signature rather than merely a notarization is required.
If you have your own account, as opposed to the estate's account, in a bank or you have a personal brokerage account, your bank or brokerage firm may be willing to provide the guaranty so that you can redeem/sell the shares.
I suspect you are dealing with a mutual fund. If this is the case, there are no physical shares, as there are with publicly traded stocks, that you can request be transferred to you or another broker.
Dealing with financial institutions can be a pain in the you know what, but the best policy to avoid aggravation is to go with the flow. If you need to open an account at a local bank to secure the Medallion signature, do so otherwise you will spend hours and/or legal fees to get the result you want, and probably still wind-up having to secure the Medallion signature.
The foregoing is not intended to be legal advice upon which you may rely as I have not been retained for this purpose.
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Elder Law Attorney
If the previous attorney's recommendation don't pan out, open a new account with a bank that also provides investment services. A bank that provides investments will also provide the medallion guarantee.
This answer does not, nor is it intended to, create an attorney-client relationship or constitute attorney advertising. Rather, it is offered solely for information purposes. Since the facts of each case are different, it is critical to consult with qualified counsel with whom information can be shared and assessed under an attorney-client privilege, so that competent advice can be obtained on which you can make informed decisions.
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Here is an idea. Go to a large financial fund like Fidelity Investments. Open the estate account with them. You can have free checking with them, free checks and transfer the mutual fund in kind to them if you so choose. And most importantly they will provide the Medallion signature guarantee with no questions asked and with no fee. Does this sound like a good idea to you?
Also you may want to have an estates attorney assist you in the estate administration. For a sense of what is involved in administering an estate in most states, please see the following two articles: Estate & Probate Administration: Do Not Try This On Your Own at http://www.sjfpc.com/page1.html and Pennsylvania Probate & Estate Administration: Executor Duties at http://www.sjfpc.com/Pennsylvania_Probate_Estate__Administration_Duties_of_Executor_and_Administrator.html.
Hope this helps.
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