Once you create your Living Trust Documents, you are not done. There are several supporting documents that must be drafted and signed along with the agreement. Each one of these documents plays an important role depending on the facts and circumstances of the Grantor and his or her life. In part one and two of this series, we discussed the Pour Over Will, the Declaration of Trust Property and Power of Attorney. This article discusses the Certificate of Trust.
One of the main purposes of the agreement is to keep the terms of your property and its disposition private. If you are required to give the Living Trust Documents to everyone who asks when re-titling assets, this purpose is defeated. The Certificate should be used in place of the agreement itself whenever proof of its terms is needed. It should be signed under oath in front of a notary public and include the following provisions:
- Legal name. The legal name lists the names of all Trustees, the trust name and the date it was signed. For example: John Smith and Jane Smith, trustees of the John and Jane Smith Revocable Living Trust dated January 2, 2008.
- Date the agreement was created;
- The name of the Grantor;
- The name and address of the current trustees;
- A statement as to whether the trustees are authorized by the document to sell, convey, pledge mortgage, lease, or transfer title to any interest in real or personal property and if so are there any limitations;
- Whether the agreement has terminated; and
- A Certification statement such as This certificate of trust is made upon the representations of the trustees and the statements contained in this document are true and correct and that there are no other provisions in the instrument or amendments to it that limit the powers of the trustees to sell, convey, pledge, mortgage, lease, or transfer title to interests in real or personal property. The trustees do not have to act in concert and may act independently of one another.
The Certificate should be signed by all trustees, not the Grantor, and notarized.
If you are drafting your own Living Trust Documents, remember to not only include the agreement but also the supplementary documents as well.
Robert Olson is the lead attorney at DIY Lawyer . A website dedicated to helping people do their own legal work including drafting a Living Trust. They offer an e-book with a money back guarantee titled the Living Trust Annotated. This book teaches you to draft your own Living Trust for a fraction of what you would pay an attorney. With the purchase of the e-book you also receive a free half hour phone consultation with a DIY Lawyer to answer your questions about the book. You can read about it at DIY Lawyer's Living Trust Annotated .