There are two types of joint ownership of securities, tenants in common and joint tenants (with rights of survivorship).
If you have securities in the name of more than one person, you can tell the type of registration from the way the certificate is registered:
- John Doe and Mary Doe, Joint Tenants – joint tenants with rights of survivorship
- John Doe and Mary Doe, Jt. Ten. – joint tenants with rights of survivorship
- John Doe and Mary Doe, Jt. Ten.WROS. – joint tenants with rights of survivorship
- John Doe and Mary Doe, Ten. Com – tenants in common
- John Doe and Mary Doe – tenants in common
To transfer jointly held securities to another person when all the holders are still alive deliver the certificate or share ownership statement along with a securities transfer form signed by all the holders and signatures guaranteed to the transfer agent. Learn more about basic tranfers.
When one of the holders dies and the securities are held as joint tenants, in Canada (except for Québec) the shares automatically pass to the survivor.
To arrange for their reissue in the name of the surviving tenant(s), deliver the certificate or share ownership statement, along with an original or notarial copy of the death certificate to the transfer agent. A securities transfer form is not necessary.
Québec does not have automatic rights of survivorship and the deceased holder’s representatives will have to follow instructions outlined in Québec estates to transfer the deceased's interest.
When the securities are held as tenants in common, there is no automatic transfer to the surviving holder(s) upon the death of one of the holders.
The deceased person’s interest in the securities becomes part of their estate just as it would if held in their name alone.
To arrange for a share transfer, the deceased’s representatives must follow the instructions in probated estates or non-probated estates, depending on whether there is a court order appointing the representatives. If you are not sure whether the estate is probated or not, please read more about determining estate transfer type.