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After our mother passed away, we found three photocopies of Canadian shares amongst other active shares in her safety deposit box.  I believe they must have been from a share exchange or split because they all have the same date, 23 December 1987.  They are Abitibi-Price, GW Utilities, and Gulf Canada Resources.  How can I assess their value re: purchase price, for her income tax and also, what did they replace and would it be possible to trace her initial cost?  How do I go about finding their value on the date of her death?  Perhaps this request has too many questions for you, but the compounding complications are rather overwhelming.  I truly appreciate your attentions and thank you for any assistance you are able to provide.  With kind regards, Gilda.

Answer
Gilda, you are correct. These shares all came from Gulf Canada. Shareholders of Gulf Canada received 0.666 of a new Gulf Canada share, 0.29 of an Abitibi Price share and 0.2 of a GW Utilities share. Gulf was acquired in 2001 by Conoco for $12.40 cash per share. Abitibi Price became Abitibi Consolidated, then AbitibiBowater, which is now Resolute Forest Products, which trades for about $12.50 a share on the TSE. GW went private and shareholders received 0.4112 of a Home Oil share for each share of GW. Home Oil was acquired by Anderson Exploration, which was acquired by Devon in 2001 for $40 a share cash.

Tracing back her purchase price is very difficult. You would need more information to go on. To find their value on the date of her death, I suggest you consult a news paper from that day or contact a broker and ask them to look up the prices. Since the Resolute is the only company still trading, I suggest you contact their transfer agent (www.computershare.com) and see if they still list your mother as a shareholder. They might also be able to assist with the cost basis information such as being able to determine the original date of purchase.

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