Medallion Guarantees

Transferring shares or funds internationally - including the USA & Canada


Medallion Guarantees are a peculiarity of United States, which unfortunately now also applies in Canada.

The Medallion Guarantee itself is just a green ink bar code which considering all the problems concerning the documentation to obtain the same, is a bit of a let down if and when you actually see it on the document to which it is affixed.

There are several levels of Medallion Guarantee the most usual ones being up to US$250,000 and then US$500,000. Higher levels are available, but are more difficult to obtain. We will be pleased to advise you in this regard.

The Medallion Guarantee was introduced to combat rampant fraud in the share sale and transfer market by making banks and other suppliers of the Medallion Guarantee responsible to pay damages if it turns out that the person / seller / transferor of the shares does not have the right, title or interest to actually sell or transfer the shares, hence the detailed requirements and documentation needed to obtain a Medallion Guarantee because of the risks involved if a fraud is later uncovered.

It is quite a nuisance to obtain the Medallion Guarantee as the Americans think that anyone in the world can get a Medallion Guarantee from any bank, when in fact outside the USA and Canada almost no-on has heard of a Medallion Guarantee, and even if they have they will not supply the same to the documents produced to the bank by the man in the street.

As a result, only 3 organisations that know of, have the ability outside the USA and Canada to provide the Medallion Guarantee, and we are able to provide this service.

We set out in our articles about Canada and the United States the details and documentation required to obtain a Medallion Guarantee, and so please look at those articles for more precise details, but in summary the requirements to obtain a Medallion Guarantee are (and these change slightly from case to case and depending upon which jurisdiction the Executors / Administrators / Personal Representatives / Transferor / Seller resides:

1) The original share certificate
(1)        The original share certificate or other evidence of ownership of the shares. Sometimes a copy of whatever correspondence has been found will be most useful as well as a copy of any letter you have received from the share registrars which confirms the shareholding. What we are trying to do is show the deceased’s ownership of the shares.

If the shares are what is known as “book entry” shares, i.e. they are held in electronic form, then a dividend statement will be sufficient for our purposes, or a “Book Entry Advice” /  “Direct Registration Advice” (sometimes simply called a “DRS Statement”).

If the shares are in certificated form, they will have to be converted into book entry (electronic) form before they can be sold. This should be effected by Computershare / CST or other share registrar when we send them all the documents to have the shares transferred into the names of the Executors prior to sale.

2) Original copy death certificate
(2)        Original copy death certificate
3) Sealed copy of the Grant of Probate
(3)        Sealed copy of the Grant of Probate of the deceased.

If the deceased died domiciled in Continental Europe or in a Country where there are forced heirship laws, then an original copy of the Notarial Act(or equivalent and an English Translation (translated by a court appointed translator) will be required.

4) Copy of the Will (if any);
5) Copy of the Passport of each Executor
(5)        Copy of the Passport of each Executor (duly certified as being a true copy by a solicitor or notary; or by a certified or chartered accountant; or by someone registered with the Financial Conduct Authority / FSA such as a stockbroker / financial adviser or by the post office). If any Executor is overseas, then generally speaking certification by a Notary Public is compulsory.

If none of these documents are available then we will prepare a Certificate of Identity for use by the Executor / Administrator. We obviously will need a copy of the Grant of Probate and a copy of the utility bill that is going to be used, together with any other evidence supporting the identity of the person concerned such as a Driving Licence in order to draft the Certificate of Identity. We will need two (2) passport size and type photos for this Certificate).

6) Copy utility bill
(6)        Copy utility bill, (or if no utility bill is available a copy of a bank statement, credit card statement, tax statement or similar document that shows the home address), for each Executor dated within the last three months (again duly certified as being a true copy by a solicitor or notary; or by a certified or chartered accountant; or by someone registered with the FCA / FSA, or by the post office, as mentioned above). Sometimes a council tax bill in the name of the Executor will be sufficient even though it is outside the three month period.
7) Original Transfer Request Form / Stock Power / Securities Transfer Form
(7)        Original Transfer Request Form / Stock Power / Securities Transfer Form duly signed by all of the Executors. We will prepare this Form for you as part of our service to you.
8) Payment
(8)        A cheque in favour of Probate Resealing Services Ltd for £295 including VAT per Company transfer involved, and a discount applies if more than one transfer is involved.
You should note that if the deceased died domiciled outside the United Kingdom, then in order to affix the Medallion Guarantee a Notarial Certificate will be required which we will draft for you, and send to you with instructions. This can be a complex and expensive process (especially in some Asian Countries) and so it will take a time for the Notarial Certificate to be prepared and notarised, and then to have an Apostille affixed or have the Notarial Certificate legalised at the local British, American or Canadian Embassy. This all takes time and so the obtaining of a Medallion Guarantee can take a couple of months although it is usually much shorter, but please be prepared for delays, as it will not happen overnight.

Please bear in mind that usually we can have the documents returned with the Medallion Guarantee affixed in a few days (usually less than a week) from the time that we receive all the necessary documents, and payment.

If the deceased has appointed a company (such as a Trustee company) to act as an Executor, then the procedures are more onerous than usual, but once we have the details on file, the procedures in future will be much simpler. What we will need for affixing the Medallion Guarantee (in addition to the other documents listed above) will be:
a) Copy Certificate of Incorporation;
b) Copy Memorandum & Articles;
c) Copy list of Directors;
d) Copy of the resolution
(d)        Copy of the resolution authorising the person who will sign or swear the documents, to do so;
e) Signatory list
(e)        If you have a signatory list, then a copy of the signatory list; and of the resolution adopting the signatory list;
f) Identification
(f)         Copy Passport or Driving licence of the authorised signatory (see (d) above); and
g) Copy utility bill dated within the last three months
(g)        Copy utility bill dated within the last three months showing the home address of the authorised signatory (or a certified copy of his or her practising certificate if more convenient) who is going to sign the documents (we do NOT need the passport and utility bills for each authorised signatory, we only need them for the authorised signatory who is going to sign the documents).
All of these documents ((a) – (g) inclusive) must be certified as being true copies of the originals by a solicitor or notary; or by a certified or chartered accountant; or by someone registered with the FCA / FSA. as being true copies of the originals. These documents are required because of Anti-Money Laundering Regulations.