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Life Events: Death

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Articles (Jump to FAQs)

Stock Options After Death: Learn Before It's Too Late (Part 1) This is premium content

Pamela Dennett
Unfortunately, immortality is not part of a stock option grant. So you should understand what will happen to your options upon your death and what choices you need to make now.

Stock Options After Death: Learn Before It's Too Late (Part 2) This is premium content

Pamela Dennett
You want to prevent losing vested options at death. Part 1 addressed typical stock plan provisions that apply when an an optionholder dies. Part 2 discusses what happens to your stock options at your death and who can exercise them.

Getting It Right

Greg Salsbury
Investment Advisor
This article explores common mistakes that occur in beneficiary designation (not specific to stock grants).

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FAQs (Jump to articles)

What would happen to my unvested restricted stock or RSUs if I were to die or become disabled before the vesting date? This is premium content

The treatment of unvested restricted stock and RSUs upon death or disability depends on the terms of your stock plan and the specifics of your grant agreement. In its 2013 Stock Plan Design Survey, the National Association of Stock Plan Professionals observed the following related practices among the companies in its survey group...

What would happen to my vested stock options if I were to die before exercising them?

You need to review the terms of your company's plan and your grant agreement. In most cases, the options...

Would my death automatically accelerate the vesting of my stock grants?

The treatment varies by company and stock plan. You should check your...

What are common periods that stock plans allow for exercising stock options upon death? This is premium content

Often, stock option plan documents provide a longer exercise period for death than for other terminations of employment. For example...

What are the most common periods after termination during which stock options can be exercised? Does the reason (e.g. disability, early retirement) matter? This is premium content

Usually, you will have time after you leave the company to exercise your options. However, some companies...

Does the post-death exercise period begin to run on the day after my death or only when my administrator, executor, or heir has authority to exercise the options? This is premium content

It begins to run on the day after your death, which is when your employment is officially terminated...

Can I name a beneficiary for my stock options, ESPPs, stock appreciation rights, or restricted stock? This is premium content

You should read the terms of your stock plan and grant agreement. If the plan allows transfer upon death to beneficiaries, you should obtain the...

After my death, what happens to any company shares that I own? This is premium content

Shares that you own pass to your beneficiaries as designated in your will. In the absence of a will...

If I die, what will happen to my ESPP participation and the holding period rules? This is premium content

If your employment ends, most Section 423 ESPPs automatically...

What would happen to my performance share grant if I were to lose my job, retire, become disabled, or die? This is premium content

The outcomes can vary and depend on your plan's design. If you leave your company to take another job before the end of the performance cycle, you usually lose all right to receive the grant. Surveys show that in these situations...

Once my in-the-money options vest, are they mine forever? This is premium content

No. You could lose them in any of the following ways...

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