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Clients often ask about a Trust "Certificate" or "Certification." A Trust Certificate serves as a summary of the Trust provisions, and is designed to provide third parties, such as banks, insurance companies, or financial institutions, with essential but basic information for purposes of asset transfers to the Trust, or naming the Trust as a beneficiary.
Although there is no universal form, a typical Certificate would include, at the least, the name of the Grantor, Trustee, Trust, and the date the Trust is executed. It typically would not include the beneficiaries.
A sample form is attached below.
CERTIFICATE OF TRUST EXISTENCE
I, the undersigned, do swear, affirm, and certify the following:
(1) The name of the Trust is the John Smith Revocable Living Trust dated January 10, 2013 ("Trust");
(2) I am the sole Grantor of the Trust;
(3) The Taxpayer Identification Number of the Trust is ____-___-_______ (my Social Security Number);
(4) The Co-Trustees are my wife, Mary Smith, and myself;
(5) Either of the Co-Trustees has full authority to act on behalf of the Trust;
(6) The Co-Trustees have the powers under Sections 64.2-105 and 64.2-778 of the Code of Virginia, as amended; and
(7) The first and last pages of the Trust are attached hereto and incorporated herein by reference/
WITNESS my signature and seal this _____ day of ____________, 2013.
COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA,
COUNTY OF FAIRFAX, to-wit:
I, the undersigned, a Notary Public in and for the jurisdiction aforesaid do hereby certify that John Smith, personally known to me to be (or satisfactorily proven to be) the person whose name is signed to the foregoing Certificate of Trust, has acknowledged the same before me in my jurisdiction aforesaid.
GIVEN under my hand and seal this ____ day of _____________, 2013.
My Commission Expires: _____________________
Read more discussion of estate planning topics affecting Virginia residents and U.S. citizens at Dedon on Estate Planning.
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