Many individuals and families use living trusts as a powerful estate planning tool for their financial future. In some cases, a third party, acting in good faith and for valuable consideration, may reach out to the trustee or settlor for a document known as a Certificate of Trustee Authority and Power. The Certification is a legal document that essentially gives the generalities of the trust and reassures any third party that the trustee is authorized to act on behalf of the settlor once they pass on.
A Certification of Trustee Authority and Power provides a vast array of information including who the settlor of the trust is, the acting trustee, and the power and authority the trustee has when managing the estate. That includes trustees who were given the power to invest trust property or act with respect to a specific transaction. The document allows the trustee or settlor to certify to third parties the trustee has authority to administer the trust while ensuring the contents of the trust remain confidential.
Ventura Trust Certification Lawyers, CA | Botti & Morison Estate Planning Attorneys, Ltd.
Establishing a trust for you and your family is an incredibly smart move for preserving your wealth and legacy. Don’t let all that hard work go to waste by forgetting vital parts of your estate plan like a Certificate of Trustee Authority and Power. Ensure all your estate planning bases are covered by hiring an experienced California trust lawyer with Botti & Morison Estate Planning Attorneys, Ltd..
Both Chris Botti and Paul Morison have spent decades assisting individuals and families customize their estate plans to fit their needs. They can guide you through each phase of the estate planning process carefully, so you have an effective and secure estate plan that promises to protect your wealth and minimizes expense for your family. Call Botti & Morison Estate Planning Attorneys, Ltd. today at (877) 585-1885 to set up your first consultation. Our various office locations include Ventura, Westlake Village, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Valencia, and Bakersfield, California.
- What is a Certificate of Trustee Authority and Power in CA?
- Certificate of Trustee Authority and Power Contents
- Who Fills Out a Certificate of Trust?
- Additional Resources
What is a Certificate of Trustee Authority and Power in CA?
A Certification of Trustee Authority and Power is a legal document that essentially verifies both the existence of a trust and the trustee’s legal authority to act on behalf of the settlor. The Certification outlines the contents of the trust including who the settlor is, who is appointed as trustee, and what instructions were left for them in the event of the settlor’s death. The document gives an overview of the trust without making every aspect of its content’s public.
A Certificate of Trustee Authority and Power is generally used to certify to a third party the trustee is authorized to administer the trust. The third party will rely on the Trust Certification if any possible issues arise in the future. Any false or misleading statements on the Certification of Trustee Authority and Power will fall on the trustee for perjuring themselves.
Certificate of Trustee Authority and Power Contents
It’s incredibly important you have all the required information regarding the trust included in your Certification of Trustee Authority and Power. According to the California’s Trust Law Section 18100.5, the Certification must confirm the following facts:
- Existence of the trust and it’s date of execution
- Who the settlor is and the acting trustees of the trust
- Powers of the trustee
- Whether the trust is revocable or irrevocable and who has the power to revoke the trust
- If there are multiple trustees, it must include the signature authority of the trustees, indicating whether all, or less than all, of the currently acting trustees are required to sign in order to exercise various powers of the trustee
- Trust identification number, it can be a social security number or employer identification number
- Manner in which title to trust assets should be taken
- Legal description of any interest in real property held in the trust
Who fills Out the Certificate of Trust?
It’s recommended you have a Certification of Trustee Authority and Power completed once you’ve finished setting up your living trust. That way you have it on hand in case a third-party requests certification. It will also save your trustee(s) time and money in the event you pass suddenly. Any changes to the Trust Certification can only be made by the settlor, so it’s important you ensure yours is up to date at all times.
The Certification of Trustee Authority and Power is signed by all trustees and the settlor. If there are two settlors, then they both must sign the document. It must be signed in the presence of a Notary Public and once it’s signed and notarized it should be final. You may also have to record the certification of trust if it relates to an interest in real property in the office of any county recorder in any county in which all or a portion of the real property is located.
You can find a Notary Public at any of the following:
- Law offices
- Real estate offices
- Tax preparer or accountant offices
- Parcel shipping stores
- License service centers
- Financial institutions like a bank
- American Automobile Association (AAA)
Rights of Third Persons | CA Trust Law – Visit the official website for California’s Statutes to read up on their laws regarding the protection and rights of third parties in regard to trusts. Access the site to read what’s required in a trust certification, how a trustee may be liable for damages, how a third-party can request the full trust and the disadvantages behind that, as well as other pertinent information related to trust certifications.
Estate Planning Coursebook by Botti & Morison – Visit the official website for the Estate Planning Coursebook created by the talented and seasoned lawyers at Botti & Morison. Access the document to learn the differences between a will and trust, advantages of both, disadvantages of both, and answers to frequently asked trust questions.
Certification of Trust Lawyers, California | Ventura County
Establishing a proper living trust that addresses all your needs and meets the requirements laid out in California Trust Law can be incredibly challenging. If you’re in need of assistance, contact the experienced estate planning team at Botti & Morison Estate Planning Attorneys, Ltd.. Both Chris Botti and Paul Morison have decades of estate planning practice they can utilize for you and your family no matter the size of estate. Get a head start on protecting your generational wealth today by calling Botti & Morison Estate Planning Attorneys, Ltd..
You can reach our offices by calling Botti & Morison Estate Planning Attorneys, Ltd. at (877) 585-1885. We happily serve residents all over California including Ventura County, San Luis Obispo County, Santa Barbara County, Los Angeles County, and Kern County.