The procedures used to transfer stock shares to an entity of the state in Georgia are not particularly complex. Most such transactions take place electronically. Major reasons for transferring shares to the state include donations to institutions in the Georgia college and university system, or there is no kin found in an intestate estate. In the latter case, the stock shares escheat to the state.
Electronic Gifts to State Colleges and Universities
Tax-deductible gifts of stock to a Georgia state postsecondary institution may be made electronically, generally to the foundational arm of the particular school. Any transfers of shares must be made to the school's account before the stock market closes on the last day of the year in order for the donor to write it off on the federal income tax return. Prior to sending the shares, the donor should also complete the institution's donor letter for any specific directions or instructions on how the gift should be used. The donor should also include a stock power transfer document.
Donors may send actual stock certificates to the Georgia postsecondary institution, either by mail, overnight delivery such as Federal Express, by courier or in person. The certificates must be delivered or postmarked on or before the last day of the year for the donor to take the tax deduction for that particular year. The donor should not endorse the stock certificates, but mail a signed stock power transfer in a separate envelope.
For tax purposes, the stock shares gifted to a state institution are valued as of the close of the market on the day the shares are electronically transferred, or the value as of the day the shares are delivered to the institution. Donors contributing appreciated stock shares held long-term receive a charitable tax deduction for the current fair market value, and do not have to pay capital gains tax on the gift. However, a donor cannot deduct gifts in any single tax year that exceeds 30 percent of his adjusted gross income. If making such a gift, the amount in excess of the 30 percent limit may be deducted over the following five years.
All states have laws of intestate succession for residents who die without a will, or intestate. The probate court appoints an administrator for the estate, and this person or fiduciary must locate the decedent's next of kin, based on marital and blood relationships. In many states, the property of a decedent who dies intestate without kin of a certain degree of a blood or legally adopted relationship escheats to the state, including any stock owned by the decedent. Although Georgia provides for heirship to include distant relations, if the person has no verifiable surviving kin, property goes to the state.
- Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images