Specifically, I have some stock shares that were inherited that are being held with Wells Fargo Shareowner Services.

What purpose do they serve that they have to hold onto it when I could easily hold them in my own account?


Wells Fargo Shareowner Services main job is as a Transfer Agent and Dividend Paying Agent. They work on behalf of a company (say Acme Inc.) to keep track of who the shareowners are, their job is to constantly update the official record of who owns how many Acme shares. (Also, obviously, they pay out dividends). You can see how they got involved: they are the ones who were able to "rename" your deceased relative's shares so they are now in your name, no one else can do that. Now, however, they don't have to keep your shares, you can transfer them elsewhere if you wish. You will have to legally prove your identity, which is not difficult to do in most cases (assuming you are in US, have a government issued ID and a bank account, and some time to do some paperwork).

  • BTW: this question is totally off topic here.
    – noob2
    May 26 '17 at 18:31
  • @noob2 so you know, migration undeleted the answer.
    – Bob Jansen
    May 26 '17 at 19:11

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