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I am not a US person. My son (also not a US Person) has stock in a companies traded on the NYSE and held by an agent registry. (eg. Computershare).

As he reaches 18, is there anything I need to consider? Mail is addressed to "My name" GDN "his name". W8-Bens have been in his name. This reflects his ownership.

I expect they will automatically update details for the surface mail, but I may be mistaken in that expectation. Has anyone else been in this position ?

  • 2
    @NorgateData "Age of majority" is a valid term. – Ben Miller Jan 4 at 19:06
  • In fact, being the legal concept, "age of majority" is more correct here. – Kevin Jan 8 at 21:53
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In the U.S., minors are not allowed to enter into contracts, which means that they cannot directly purchase stock. Instead, stock is contained in a Uniform Transfer to Minors Act (UTMA) account, which means that the minor owns the stock, but it is under the control of a guardian until the child reaches the age of majority. There are state laws in each state (which can vary slightly) that protect the child's interests until they reach the age of majority. The actual age is different in different states, and is between 18-25.

Because you are not in a state, UTMA does not directly apply to you, but the laws in your locality apply. Assuming that 18 is the correct age in your country, I think you'll need to contact Computershare and get yourself removed as the guardian on the account. It probably won't happen automatically, because they don't have a good way of knowing when an individual has reached the appropriate age.

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After some degree of effort I have determined that this has been set up as a de-facto trust account. (Not a person).

So a transfer to a "new" account may need to be effected. Considerable effort. A Medallion Signature Guarantee Stamp (USD160) is required, along with new W8-Ben certification.

We may also have to give up the physical stock certificate.

So it is looking pretty daunting in terms of labour and expense.

I will mark Ben's answer as accepted as it is the most informative.

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