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Tracking down missing stock certificates

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in Small Business Tax

Q. My father owned several stocks when he died, but we can’t find the certificates in any of his personal effects. Are we out of luck? T.A.E., Memphis

A. Not necessarily. If your father used a broker regularly, contact the office to see if they have the certificate equivalents on file. If that doesn’t work, the estate’s executor should contact the transfer agent for the companies that issued the stock. The transfer agent’s information can generally be found on each company’s Web site. Tip: You must pay for new certificates, but the cost is generally well worth it.

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