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But if you're donating the shares (or making a gift to anyone else) the ex-div. date doesn't matter, because you're not buying or selling. Whether you, or the done, is the owner on the record is a function of how fast the broker moves the securities.

If that is the case, then there should exist a rule which can be cited that says (1) sales are an exception (three days to settle) to the general rule that the owner of record is established as soon as the broker moves the securities, or (2) directed transfers are an exception (as soon as broker moves securities) to the general rule that the owner of record is established on the settlement date. The broker should be able to provide a relevant citation from their own operations manuals and/or a regulatory body (STA, FINRA, NYSE, etc.)

I'm not disagreeing with your conclusion, just stating that whenever I receive information that runs counter to what I expect, I want to see supporting documentation. For example, here on this board we often provide citations to the IRC, IRS Regs, or Tax Court decisions. The OP, as far as we know, has been relying on the verbal representations of his broker - not an infallible source.

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