An adult custodian can control stocks for you until you reach legal adulthood. When you're no longer a minor, you can assume full ownership of the stocks and instruct the broker to remove the custodian’s name from the certificate. The process is complete and the certificates adjusted when you submit appropriate documents that verify your age and identity.
Stock Power Form
A stock power form formally instructs your broker to transfer ownership from the custodian to you. This form requires information, such as your full name, address and Social Security number; the description of the shares and how they are to be reissued; and your signature or that of the former custodian. Write your name as it appears on the stock certificate. If it has changed, also provide your new name. Some institutions require a letter of instruction instead of a stock power form. The letter should contain the same type of information as the form.
You must submit the original stock certificate to initiate the change if the stocks are in certificates. You or the former custodian should endorse the certificate where indicated. If you’re submitting this and other documents by mail, it’s best to insure it for at least 2 percent of the current value and send it with a posting method that you can trace.
You must submit a certified copy of your birth certificate if you sign the stock power form or the letter of instruction. You can obtain a certified copy of your birth certificate from your state’s department of public health. Some offices accept online requests through a vendor and will mail the certificate to you.
Brokers verify a shareholder’s taxpayer identification number with information on the W-9 form. This simple form requires only your name, address and Social Security number. The W-9 is for U.S. citizens only. Noncitizens complete form W8-BEN instead. A failure to submit either one of these forms could subject you to a federal withholding of 30 to 31 percent of the account value.
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