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In CA, are trust(s) considered to be an entity just as a corporation is considered to be its own (and separate) entity?

Los Angeles, CA |

And if so, do the same rules and regulations that apply to corporations (or businesses) regarding its name (or use of a DBA) also apply to trust(s) holding title to rental property in California which it actively rents to residents? (In excess of 10 rental units).

Basically- is a trust holding title to rental property in CA subject to BPC 17918?

Thanks in advance.

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Attorney answers 4

Best Answer

A revocable trust is not considered a separate legal entity. Accordingly, the fact that you transfer property into a revocable trust will not insulate the property from attachment by creditors. Furthermore, since a revocable trust is not a separate legal entity, a federal taxpayer identification number is not required to identify it.

Depending upon how it is structured, an irrevocable trust can be independent from its grantor (you), under the law. It is a separate legal entity that must obtain its own tax identification number from the IRS. If the irrevocable trust is operating a business under a fictitious business name, it does, in my opinion, need to file a fictitious business name statement.

If the trust, irrevocable or not, is merely holding rental real estate, there is probably no reason to file a fictitious business name statement. If there are additional particulars which need to be considered, please speak with an attorney in your area.

To schedule an appointment for an attorney-client privileged consultation, contact me at 530-231-4949. This response is not intended, nor should it be construed as legal advice. Any information provided is for educational purposes only. The exchange of communications through and similar social media does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me or my office. Thank you.

Michael Raymond Daymude

Michael Raymond Daymude


A more thorough, correct, and complete answer. A good thing about these forums -- if an answer is not exactly correct because the question is ambiguous, a qualified attorney is sure to provide a more complete answer.

Justin C. Lowenthal

Justin C. Lowenthal


Thank you, Mr. Daymude. I appreciate your feedback.


A trust is not a seperate entity, it is simply a contract. A trust does not provide you with any of the protection or tax advantages of an entity. It is important to hold and operate your rental properties in a entity and contract structure that can best protect your assets and afford you the best tax opportunities. Fell free to contact me or another asset protection attorney for a free consultation.

John Burt

John Burt - - 800-513-6826. Before you contact me read: Information I provide in this forum, and during a free consultation is not legal advice. The information provided is only general information that may or may not apply to you and may or may not be based on current law. I am NOT YOUR attorney until retained by you in writing.


No. A trust is a relationship to property. It is not a separate legal entity like a corporation. Title to trust property is always held in the name(s) of the trustee(s) as trustee(s) for [name of trust].

I am licensed in California only and my answers and information on Avvo assume California law. Answers and information provided by me is general information only. It is not legal advice. It must not be relied upon by you. Legal advice must be based on the interplay between specific exact facts and the law. This forum does not allow for the discussion of that interplay. My answer to any specific question would likely be different if that interplay were explored during an attorney-client relationship. Therefore, I provide legal advice during the course of an attorney-client relationship only. The exchange of information through this forum does not establish such a relationship. That relationship is established only by personal and direct consultation with me followed by the execution of a written attorney-client agreement signed by each of us. The communications on this website between us are not privileged or confidential and I assume no duty to you by my participation on Avvo or because I have responded to a question. All legal proceedings involve deadlines and time limiting statutes. So that you do not lose any legal rights for failure to timely take appropriate action for your situation, and because I have not provided legal advice in response to your question, you should promptly and personally consult with an attorney for legal advice. Also, see Avvo's terms and conditions of use, specifically item 9, incorporated by this reference.

Michael Raymond Daymude

Michael Raymond Daymude


In answer to your last question, which I did not see on my initial reading of your post, a trust does not need to comply with the provisions of B&P Code section 17918. The reason is that the business name identifies the trustee(s) who conduct the trust’s business. A fictitious business name statement is not required when the name of the person conducting business is identified in the name of the business. For example, if I conducted business under the name: Michael Daymude and Associates, no statement would be required.


It won't even be separate for many tax purposes if it a revocable trust. The fact that you can revoke it at any time in the future means it is not a bona fide transfer of property from your possession.

Christopher Larson
Insight Law

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