How does one go about transferring assets from a trust? 19 Answers as of September 04, 2013

I am the successor trustee of my late mother's trust. I am trying to transfer assets and am being asked to submit the entire trust agreement. Isn't the trust summary (naming me as successor trustee) sufficient? And possibly a death certificate? I didn't even need to provide a copy of the trust when we sold her house. Thanks.

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Law Office of Thomas C. Phipps | Thomas C Phipps
Who is asking? If it s the custodian of the assets you will have to give them whatever documents they ask for.
Answer Applies to: Missouri
Replied: 9/4/2013
Law Office Of Victor Waid
Law Office Of Victor Waid | Victor Waid
You are advised to seek the assistance of an estate planning attorney or a probate attorney to help you administer the trust. Any mistake you make will have long term consequences. An ounce of prevention is cheaper than a pound of cure.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/28/2013
Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
You can transfer assets if you have authority to do so. However, others involved in the transaction may want more, such as a review of the trust.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 8/28/2013
Law Offices of Frances Headley | Frances Headley
Different institutions have different requirements. You should always provide just a copy not the original trust so that you do not lose control of the document.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/28/2013
Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C.
Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C. | Brian Haggerty
I would recommend that you get a lawyer's help with the administration of the trust. Have you filed all required tax returns? Have you paid all the creditors? Have you met all the statutory requirements for post mortem administration? Basic answer, yes, a Certification and Memorandum of Trust which meets the statutory criteria is all that anyone should need. However, convincing banks and brokerages (whose offices are usually in California, New York or elsewhere) is rarely worth the trouble. Half the time, we just give up a copy of the trust. It's their filing system that's going to have to hold an extra 40 pages.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 8/28/2013
    Law Office of Edward M. Burgh, APC | Edward M. Burgh
    Have you gone to the Trust? Is it in Probate Court? If so. you should get Courts approval.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/28/2013
    Arthur H. Geffen, P.C.
    Arthur H. Geffen, P.C. | Arthur Geffen
    Generally speaking a certificate of trust showing the powers and the trustee should be sufficient. If you don't want to disclose the entire agreement, then hire a lawyer to help you.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 8/28/2013
    Goldsmith & Guymon
    Goldsmith & Guymon | Dara Goldsmith
    Probably not. Have you completed a certificate of incumbency or affidavit of successor trustee? Have you sent the required notice to creditors? If not I urge you to speak with trust counsel before making transfers. You may be taking on personal liability that you would not want.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 8/28/2013
    Law Offices of Robert Beatson II | Robert Beatson II
    Your matter will require careful review and analysis of the facts. An experienced trusts and estates/tax professional should be able to handle this. Please contact me if I can be of any help to you or people you know now or in the future. Please note that a signed engagement letter is required under the VA ethics rules applicable to attorneys in order for this law office to provide professional tax/legal services to you.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 8/28/2013
    Law Office of Pamela Braynon | Pamela Y. Braynon
    No the trust summary is not enough. The Courts can only rely on the trust document itself to ensure the trust is executed properly. Summaries can leave out important information that the court needs. Looking at the trust agreement ensures everything is on the up and up (so to speak).
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/28/2013
    Frederick & Frederick PLC | James P Frederick
    The answer depends on the situation. If you are dealing with banks or investment firms, they will likely want to see the entire trust. I think it is very unlikely you will persuade them to take anything less.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/28/2013
    Christine Sabio Socrates Attorney at Law | Christine Socrates
    Each financial institution or other entity require different documentation in order to transfer an asset in a trust. However, the trust summary or trust abstract should be sufficient. If they still require the trust then you should be able to only give them certain portions of the trust. One of the benefits of creating a trust is that it is a private document, this would defeat the purpose of that if you had to submit an entire trust document each time you transfer an asset.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 8/28/2013
    Neal M. Rimer, Esquire
    Neal M. Rimer, Esquire | Neal M. Rimer
    It seems that it is time for you to retain an attorney to represent you! An Attorney familiar with the administration of trusts is able to assist you in making the distributions, assisting in completing the accounting's that are required, making all the proper disclosures to the beneficiaries, and closing out the trust. As a fiduciary, you have liability for any mistakes you make. On the other hand, you have the right to be represented by an attorney and the trust must pay those fees. If you are in title, as the successor trustee, to the assets, then proper documents assigning and transferring the interests to the beneficiaries should accomplish the transfer. It all depends on the type of assets. There are sometimes easy ways to accomplish the completion of the distributions, again, it depends on the nature of the assets.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/28/2013
    Ben T. Liu Law Office
    Ben T. Liu Law Office | Ben T. Liu
    Some companies require the full trust and some will take just a certificate of trust existence.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/28/2013
    Peters Law, PLLC
    Peters Law, PLLC | Mark T. Peters, Sr.
    If you are moving assets from one broker to another or from one bank to another, the institution does not want to be on the hook if you don't have the authority to do what you want to do. By looking at the trust agreement, they can determine you have that authority. It is a small price to pay to do what you want with the assets.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 8/28/2013
    Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
    The Trust Agreement specifies how assets are to be managed and transferred. You have a Trust Certification that you given them, rather then the Trust Agreement.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/28/2013
    James Oberholtzer, Attorney at Law
    James Oberholtzer, Attorney at Law | James Oberholtzer
    Different institutions have different rules about what they want to transfer assets out of a trust. They want to be sure that the successor trustee has the authority to do it.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 8/28/2013
    James Law Group
    James Law Group | Christine James
    Every company requires different things to transfer assets. Some require the entire trust agreement.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/28/2013
    The Curran Law Firm
    The Curran Law Firm | Maura Curran
    If you do not know what to do as trustee, you should engage an attorney with knowledge to assist you. You have a fiduciary duty to the beneficiaries and if you do not do what you are required, especially because you did not know, you can get in trouble with the beneficiary.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/28/2013
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