My bank says that I need to register my living trust with the State of Calif. before I can open a trust account with them. How

Asked over 2 years ago - Oakland, CA

how do I go about this registration process?

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Robert Paul Bergman

    Contributor Level 13

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    Answered . I'm not sure just what your bank expects for you to do. Living trusts are not registered with the State of California or any other state, because they are private agreements that you make with yourself or with you and your spouse.

    What is required to open bank account is a Certification of Trust that summarizes certain information about your living trust such as:

    1. The name
    2. The date established
    3. The name(s) of the Trustees of the trust and their addresses
    4. Whether the trust is revocable or irrevocable,
    5. The tax identification number of the living trust, and
    6. (Sometimes) the specific powers that are held by the Trustees over the property in the trust.

    The bank itself should have a Certification of Trust form that you can fill out as the Trustee of your living trust. This form is specifically authorized under California Probate Code Section 18100.5, and is all that a bank should need to open a trust account for your living trust with them.

    If you had your living trust prepared by an attorney, there should be a document such as what I described. If you did it yourself, you probably do not have a Certification of Trust.

    If there are more facts than what you have indicated, please provide them. If this is all the bank said and they refuse to work with you, then I suggest you consider using another bank to open your trust account. If the bank already has your accounts, then you should consider indicating to them that you will close your accounts and move them to another bank if they are unwilling to work with you.

    You may wish to consult with an attorney to review the paperwork that you actually have to see why the bank might be refusing to work with you.

    Please remember to mark what you believe to be the best answer to your question. This answer is provided by... more
  2. L Christopher Arvin

    Contributor Level 13

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    Answered . Something is missing here.

    Did they say this or did they say what is the tax id number?? Usually that is their mistake. A Trustor of a revocable living trust in which the Trustor is a beneficiary uses his/her SS number as the tax number. I think that is what they are asking for? Is a mistake 5% of time typically by credit unions.

    Call the bank and ask this question again. There is no "registration w/ CA" ... No comment on our crazy state's rules that are "exciting" businesses into coming here (sarcasm intended about our state).. but in this case I would bet its the bank employee who messed up.

    Ask them again .. please let us know what they say here / post - and what bank it is.

  3. Jeffrey Manuel Sydney

    Pro

    Contributor Level 4

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    Answered . If your trust is a Revocable Living Trust, your bank is wrong. There is no registration process. One of the great advantages of a Living Trust is that, unlike a Will, it is a private document,and does not have to be registered with the state or county. Most likely, it was just the particular employee you spoke with at the bank who was confused.

    Robert Bergman is correct that the bank is supposed to accept the Certificate of Trust and not even require a copy of the full trust. Banks may, and sometimes do, make reasonable requests for copies of certain specific provisions, and some banks (wrongly) insist on seeing the full trust, but no bank can require the trust to be registered with the state.

    Your attorney should have furnished you with a Certificate of Trust prepared in accordance with California law, you should see a different attorney. If you do not have a Certificate because you did not have your trust prepared by an attorney, then this is one small illustration of one of many reasons why -- contrary to what you may hear on those misleading television and radio commercials -- estate planning should be done with a qualified attorney.

    The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice.... more
  4. Paul Gerard Minoletti

    Pro

    Contributor Level 12

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    Answered . The bank must accept a Certification of Trust by law.

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