Medallion Signature Guarantees

If you are currently dealing with an estate administration where there are US or Canadian shares, you will know that arranging for them to be sold or transferred is easier said than done!

This is because in order to sell or transfer US or Canadian shares, you will usually be required to obtain a Medallion Signature Guarantee (also known as Medallion Guarantees, Signature Guarantees, Barcoded Medallion Guarantees and Medallion Stamps) and this is not always easy for residents outside of the US to obtain.


Why is a Medallion Signature Guarantee required?

A Medallion Signature Guarantee protects the transfer agent (known a share registrar in the UK) against fraud.

Each Medallion Guarantee Stamp has an individual barcode which is registered to help ensure that they can not be fraudulently used.

The transfer agent will therefore require you to obtain a Medallion Signature Guarantee before transferring the shares to the beneficiaries or selling the shares.

The guarantee is a barcoded stamp which is attached to the relevant paperwork which has been signed by the person authorised to deal with the transfer.


Why are Medallion Signature Guarantees so hard to obtain?

Although many financial institutions in North America provide Medallion Stamps, they will not usually provide them directly to the general public.

It is particularly hard for Non-US residents to obtain the Medallion Signature Guarantee from US based providers and most organisations outside of the US just do not want to take on the risk associated with the guarantee.

The requirement for a Medallion Stamp has therefore caused difficulties for Personal Representatives of investors from the UK who either acquired shares in North American companies or, in many cases, investors who bought shares in UK companies that were subsequently taken over by US companies (for example Cadbury, Tyco and IBM).


How can Worldwide Lawyers help?

Worldwide Lawyers are able to assist with Medallion Guarantee stamps for residents of most countries.

We can assist both Personal Representatives and solicitors acting on their behalf.

We can you in touch with a UK based Medallion Signature Guarantee Provider who will actually be able to provide the Medallion Guarantee and can also assist you with the sale or transfer or the shares without the requirement for clearance from a US bank.

Whether you only require assistance to obtain a Medallion Signature Guarantee on forms you are completing yourself or would like a complete service to include transferring or selling the American and Canadian Shares and completion of all the associated paperwork including IRS tax clearance forms, we can help put you in touch with experienced professionals who can assist with this.

If you are a Personal Representative or a solicitor dealing with an estate which requires a Medallion Signature Guarantee contact Worldwide Lawyers on 01244 470 339 or on for a free, no-obligation quote.

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