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How to Transfer Stocks From a Decedent to a Surviving Spouse in Michigan

Original post by Stephanie Ellen of Demand Media

Michigan law enables fast transfer of stocks to named beneficiaries.

Michigan is one state that has passed the Uniform Transfer-on-Death Security Registration Act, which means that if your spouse named you as a beneficiary for her stocks, the stocks do not need to go through probate when your spouse dies -- even if there was no will. As long as you are named beneficiary of your spouse's stocks, transferring them to you is a straightforward and fast process.

Step 1

Find out who the transfer agent is for the stocks. In some cases, the company who issued the stocks is the transfer agent. The company's website may list the transfer agent in the investment section of the website, or you could call the company to obtain that information.

Step 2

Contact the transfer agent and ask them for an application to transfer the stocks.

Step 3

Fill out the application and return it to the company along with a copy of your spouse's death certificate.


Tips & Warnings

  • Although many states require tax waivers to be filled out when transferring stocks, Michigan is not one of them.
  • Contact a lawyer for advice on how to transfer the stocks if you are not a named beneficiary. Whether or not you will receive the stocks will depend on many factors, including if there was a will. Probate law can be very complex, and a lawyer will best be able to advise you about your inheritance.

Things Needed

  • Copy of Death Certificate
  • Application for Transfer


About the Author

Stephanie Ellen teaches mathematics and statistics at the university and college level. She coauthored a statistics textbook published by Houghton-Mifflin. She has been writing professionally since 2008. Ellen holds a Bachelor of Science in health science from State University New York, a master's degree in math education from Jacksonville University and a Master of Arts in creative writing from National University.

Photo Credits

  • Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images