Bearer instrument Definition
A bearer instrument is a document that indicates that the bearer of the document has title to property, such as shares or bonds. Bearer instruments differ from normal registered instruments, in that no records are kept of who owns the underlying property, or of the transactions involving transfer of ownership. Whoever physically holds the bearer bond papers owns the property. This is useful for investors and corporate officers who wish to retain anonymity, but ownership is extremely difficult to recover in event of loss or theft.
In general, the legal situs of the property is where the instrument is located. Bearer instruments can be used in certain jurisdictions to avoid transfer taxes, although taxes may be charged when bearer instruments are issued.