Ask Terry Questions Abandoned/Unclaimed Stock Shares

Abandoned/Unclaimed Stock Shares

By Terry Savage on December 28, 2023 | Wild Card

Dear Ms. Savage:
We have owned Johnson & Johnson stock for over 40 years. My wife and I have just let the plan reinvest whatever earnings we get. We’ve only made contact with the company twice: name change about 15 years ago and address change about 5 years ago. About 10 years ago,J&J began using ComputerShare to handle their stock transactions. Last week, we received a certified letter from ComputerShare stating that we had 45 days to sign and return a form titled “YOUR IMMEDIATE ACTION IS REQUIRED PER ILLINOIS UNCLAIMED PROPERTY LAWS”. The form goes on to state that if we don’t sign and return the form, our stock will be turned over to the State of Illinois. We’re 79 years old and are afraid that this could be a scam and that we would be losing our stock to a scammer. I have received a similar letter from a local bank where I keep $5,000 for emergencies and there’s been no account activity for several years. But, have you seen anything similar for shares of stock? We don’t have a stock broker or an attorney and afraid of losing our stock perhaps to a scammer. How can we determine if this Notice is legit letter that needs to be signed ?
Thank you.

Terry Says

This notice is VERY LEGIT — so act immediately to avoid this issue of “escheat” of accounts for which there is no recent history. Send that letter with signature back to ComputerShare — and go to the post office and send it by Registered Mail, return receipt requested.
And contact the bank.

Now is the time to get your life organized — a new will or estate plan. And to contact all of your investments, and let them know you are well and alive!
I think you could benefit from a meeting with a FEE-ONLY financial planner who can help you with all of the above.
Please respond to the email you receive notifying you that your question has been answered. I’ll be glad to put you in touch with an advisor you can trust!



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