Old share certificates

Discussion in 'Finance, Property, Law' started by muscat_diver, Feb 14, 2012.

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  1. I am trying to help my mother sort out her estate prior to writing her will (she is 73). My father died in 1991 and left a lot of papers etc that have not really been touched since. Amongst these papers are share certificates from the following companies some of which are still in existence and some of which have gone out of business, merged or been bought out. Unfortunately wheneve my mother receives a dividend she banks the cheque and throws away the stub so all I have to go on are the actual share certificates and old paperwork.

    I am seeking advice on how best to track down the right people who can advise whether the share certificates are still valid. This could be individuals at the companies or a firm who wiill take on the whole job. I shall scan all the share certificates and can send them to individual companies or a central point. Once I have sorted the wheat from the chaff for her she can decide what she wants to do with her estate and at least we can see where we are will IHT etc.

    All advice on how to sort this out gratefully received

    Abbot Mead Vickers
    Allied Zurich plc
    Associated British Ports
    Brambles Industries
    BG Plc / Centrica
    British Airways
    BAT Industries
    BP Amoco
    British Gas
    Cable & Wireless
    Christian Salveson
    East Midlands Electricity
    First Spanish Investment
    Garban plc
    GKN plc
    Glaxo Wellcome (destroy)
    ICAP plc
    IMI plc
    InterContinental Hotels
    Lattice Group
    Mitchells & Butlers
    Omnicom Group Inc
    Scottish Hydro Electric
    "Scottish and Newcastle
    Now Heineken"
    Scottish Power
    United Business Media
    Bass / 6 Continents / IHG
    United Newspapers
    Wolverhampton and Dudley Breweries

    There are also more that I have not added to the list yet
  2. Why do I get a feeling you are about to receive messages from a world of scam artists? Do you make a habit of wandering around firing ranges wearing a "Target" t-shirt?
  3. I will give you a tenner for the lot...that way I will relieve you of the burden of sorting them out etc and I will recycle them into toilet paper for the people in Africa.
  4. Brotherton Lad

    Brotherton Lad LE Reviewer

    Contact the Registrars, send the certificate no (or a photocopy). Address should be on the share certificates.

    eg for Scottish Power

    ScottishPower: Registrar
  5. Given the list of certificates it could be worthwhile going to see a stockbroker, no idea where you are based but check your yellow pages or google for a company near by. They will assist you (probably at a cost) to esatblish ownership and validity of the certificates.

    Most companies have been dematerialized (share certificates converted to computer records). It would be worth considering placing certificates with a stockbroker (depending on overall value) and having them dematerialised, this is useful to 2 reaons:

    1. Security, not ideal having that sort of stuff lying around and cost of replacement if lost / stolen or damaged is high.
    2. Cost and difficulty of selling shares in certificated form is much higher and many stockbrokers are reluctant to get involved due to Money Laundering regulations.

    If the certificates are still in your Fathers name you will need to provide evidence of death, proof of transfer i.e. will, the stockbroker can then transfer all into your Mother's name or your depending on what you want to do.

    But first port of call, in my opinion is a good stockbroker.
  6. Thank you very much for the responses so far. I shall have a plow through the piles and try to get them in some sort of order and then try top find a local stockbroker. I shall let you know how I get on
  7. Scottish and Newcastle aka Heineken can be found at Equiniti lancing house west Sussex their is a bereavement dept and if it's a small claim (the estate was less than 10k) you can pay 74 quid send in your late fathers death cert and they will pay out. I'm going through the same process. Be wary of a company called pro search that will offer to do this for you as a recent example an 800 pound claim after the fees were deducted resulted in a 110 pound payout and this company is also registered in Lancing house.

    (yank pc can't find my pound sign)
  8. The first question is do you want to sell them or transfer them?

    A broker is used to sell or buy shares. And they hate certificates!! I checked my broker's website and found:
    "Trading in paper certificates is charged at our standard commission rates plus £50."

    That would be £62.50 for each !!! Bloody Hell!

    Had your mother done this at the time of your father's death, the costs would have fallen to his estate.

    If you do find that your father still owns x shares in Company A which are now worth 2/6d, you could donate the shares to charity; there is one that will convert your father's shares into a donation to your favourite cause.

    If you want to transfer them, you have to go to the company website and look up "shareholder information". Most companies have farmed out their shareholder services to other companies like Capita etc. Capita Share Dealing Services - Shareholder services

    Run each of the names through Google. The good news is that a lot of those companies are still around: Aggreko (doing well), Glaxo (doing well).

    Other companies will have died. HMRC have a page that details those shares which can be written off against CGT.

  9. Before you resort to going down a road that might cost £££, have a talk with your Bank,they will have info at hand. I remember having to do the same thing my self and contacting an office in Central London, they were very veery helpful.Sorry no contact details !!
  10. Surely the way to go is to write a standard letter to the Registrars, and then amend it for each specific Registrar and share certificate. Mum signs a batch of them, enclose whatever copies are appropriate and post.

    Most of those seem to be worthwhile, but you may find they were sold by your father and the certificates should have been shredded. I don't see the point of employing banks or stockbrokers until you've established they aren't worthless or chickenfeed or unless it's overly complicated.
  11. For goodness sake people, all he has to do is go and see a stockbroker, all the other stuff is just money wasting, time consuming nonsense. There is always a few how think they can do it by themselves, they end paying out heavily and not being any the wiser. Stockbrokers do this day in day out, it is their job. If value is established and looking at the list there will be some (without any knowledge of amount held, but dividend cheques are being paid) the stockbroker will charge you.

    For those who really want to contact every registrar, without certified copies of death certificate, certified proof of residential address and in some case certified passport and probate documents, please crack on.
  12. Fair enough Bokka but he did ask for options and also indicated what he wanted to do by the scanning and sending off. I admit it was originally painful trying to get anyone to do anything for me as soon as I stated I was an individual and not a company but as soon as I nailed them down to the fact their own share retrieval service was linked to the unclaimed shares company their attitude changed immediately and the money saved was quite significant.
  13. Agreed except these are not unclaimed shares, dividends, in some cases, are being paid. A stockbroker, will as the OP asked for and stated, sort the wheat from the chaff.
  14. Whilst I agree with you in part, the number of stockbrokers in the UK has shrunk. The LSE lists them here:

    London Stock Exchange

    Most of them are now part of the big banks and won't have regional offices. It's a lot different to when I opened an account all of those years ago; I was invited for an interview in Dorchester and my two references were taken up!!! However, after all that, the firm only lasted another two years before leaving me high and dry after I was posted to Germany!! They were taken over and shut down as the jockeying for the City's Big Bang started.

    It will be interesting to hear how the OP sorts this out. As I mentioned earlier, the industry hates certificates.