Has anyone successfully negotiated the Medallion Signature Guarantee process?
June 30, 2009 7:40 AM   Subscribe

What exactly is a Medallion Signature Guarantee, and how is it supposed to work?

I have been working on transferring assets for an estate, and have been amazed at how complex and redundant all of this has become. Our bank supposedly offers this as a free service to their customers, but makes the process so onerous as to drive said customers away. The amount of copied paperwork generated by the bank manager (obvious ass covering for her and the bank) was staggering next even to that for the stock-transfer agents. She bitched and moaned the entire time about how much of her time we were taking, yet she obviously did not know what she was doing, and from my perspective that was the time-killer. I tried my best to make sure that the i's were dotted and the t's crossed in the right places, but I have no confidence that it will not all come back again with requests for scads more documentation and signoffs. Is there any way to make this a little more foolproof?
posted by ackptui to Work & Money (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
That's really strange.

I was in your position a couple of years ago, when one of my late mother's accounts required a Medallion Signature Guarantee to close it. The folks at my local Citibank branch (where, incidentally, I had placed the estate account) handled it without blinking, and were very polite about it all. Took all of 15 minutes to get it done, though I can't remember the exact specifics. I remember being annoyed with the account that required it, but not with the process of getting it done.

The problem isn't with MSG - seems like your problem is with the lack of professionalism with the bank manager, if she doesn't know how to complete a task that's part of her job, and then complains to you (the customer) about it.
posted by swngnmonk at 7:53 AM on June 30, 2009

I'm not entirely sure what the question is here, but if it comes back, try going to a different branch, or a different financial institution? When I had to get a medallion signature guarantee for some estate paperwork it was pretty painless, not a lot different from getting something notarized. It sounds like the bank manager at your local branch just isn't that great.
posted by phoenixy at 7:55 AM on June 30, 2009

I have had to get those a number of times, also in connection with an estate. They are to ensure that you are who you say you are and that you are entitled to the assets. The problem for the people who do them is that they can be liable if you do end up being a fraud and they don't really get any reward for doing them that I know of.

It was pretty easy most of the time and took just a few minutes. The only times it was hard was when the situation was complicated and in those cases it was a matter of talking to the person who would be receiving the paperwork to make sure of what they needed ahead of time. Try another bank if you can.
posted by procrastination at 8:04 AM on June 30, 2009

Here's the wikipedia entry.

Talk to the bank manager. This is normal stuff.

As for any way to make it smoother, that would entail getting an attorney, which would make life a lot easier for you. You could rest assured.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:07 AM on June 30, 2009

As for any way to make it smoother, that would entail getting an attorney, which would make life a lot easier for you. You could rest assured.

Attorneys don't normally do medallion signature guarantees; financial institutions do. Having an attorney does not circumvent the need to go to the bank and get a signature guarantee in this circumstance.

Sounds like you just got an inexperienced employee at your bank. The only thing you could do is try another bank, although usually banks are most willing to guarantee signatures of their account holders, so you might have to open an account at another bank in order to use their signature guarantee service.
posted by HotToddy at 8:44 AM on June 30, 2009

Nthing everyone saying it wasn't a big deal - and lousy customer service on your branch manager's part. Do you have another banking institution you could deal with to get the Medaillion Signature? My understanding (not having read the wikipedia entry) is that it's basically to guarantee you are who you say you are, so if you have an account at another bank. say where your personal accounts are located, then you might see if they could provide said service with less bitching and moaning.
posted by sarajane at 9:47 AM on June 30, 2009

A medallion signature garuntee stamp makes the bank liable for the assets should you not actually be John Doe and the real John Doe sues for the goods.

I had to get one of these when I was transfering a mutual fund account out of my name to my mother's. We both had to go to the bank together at the same time. The stamp made it so that if I was actually someone who stole WeekendJen's identity and turned over the account, the bank would be liable for refunding the account back to the real Weekend Jen. As a result I needed some forms of ID.

Only a certified notary can give the MSG stamp and most banks only have 1 on staff and they are usually only there for a few hours a day (maybe till 3ish). This can be what is causing you to be called back...
posted by WeekendJen at 2:28 PM on June 30, 2009

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