Q&A: Adding Relative's Names to Stock Certificate

Q Recently shareholders have asked to have family names added to proprietary stock certificates (I was told to avoid estate “problems” in the future.) I balked (I'm on the board) stating the legal rights of ownership, and liabilities, then also transfer. Thus, these relatives can insist on occupying the space in the event of death of occupant without being interviewed by the board, which in my opinion is not advisable. Additionally, these relatives can have financial problems that could possibly then attach to the property. My question: am I correct in these two assumptions—the relatives of the original stockholder (who did apply, giving all financials and interview) can occupy without board interview/consent; or, any financial problems the relatives may have can have a direct impact on said co-op through the requested transfer of stock?

—Concerned About Co-op Transfer

A “Just because people ask to have relatives or friends added to the stock certificates does not mean the board has to agree,” says New York-based real estate attorney C. Jaye Berger. “There should be a requirement that they meet whatever financial requirements the building may have. Even in the event of death, the building does not necessarily have to agree to allow the family member or friend mentioned in the will to live in the building. For example, a shareholder can state in his/her will that a friend will inherit the shares but that person must still meet the financial requirements for the building. If they do not have sufficient income to pay the monthly maintenance, the estate would have to sell the apartment and give the proceeds to the friend or relative.

“There is also an issue concerning jurisdiction. If you add another person to the stock and proprietary lease, they need to be served in the event of a default. It can get complicated if that new party lives outside of the State of New York or even the United States. In other words, if the building were to allow the party to be added in addition to the current shareholders, the building might want to impose some requirements about what constitutes good service in the event of a lawsuit. These are the same kinds of issues boards face when shareholders want to set up trusts. This would only involve a small group of shareholders who own their shares and do not have mortgages where bank approval is needed.”

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4 Comments

  • How can I add my niece to unit shares
  • I m a shareholder in a co-op. The apartment is occupied by my brother, his wife and child. I have a court Stipulation of Settlement with the co-op that the co-op consents to the occupancy of the apartment by my brother and his family and that "This consent shall not be subject to revocation for any reason, including but not limited to any change to the sublet policy of the coop and/or amendment to the Proprietary Lease." At this time I would like to add them to my Proprietary Stock Certificate. Does the board have the right to object to do so?
  • Can you please give me the necessary names of the forms, documents i would need to file with my management company in order to add my daughter to my co-op shareholders certificate. Due to my terminal illness and the fact that she has been my primary care for 24/7 unable to be employed, exhausted her income, she her well-being is solely responsible on my income as she cares for me. My daughter is now a dislocated homemaker, and if this process is not done before my life is over, i am truly afraid of what would become of her well-being. As she will not be awarded Social Security benefits for another 3 years.
  • what are rules for transfer from one building to another within the same Mitchell Llama complex, a two bedroom without terrace to a two bedroom with terrace.