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Documents Needed to Transfer Assets into a Trust

When the grantor of a trust is alive, the trustee’s first step is to transfer assets into the trust. As trustee, before you begin to transfer these assets into the trust, you must have key documents handy, including a certified copy of the trust instrument, the Federal Taxpayer Identification Number, and proof of ownership.

Before you begin to transfer assets into the trust, be sure to follow these guidelines for the necessary documentation:

  • Certified copy of the trust instrument: This is usually just a photocopy of the instrument, with the words, “A True Copy. Attested by” typed on the front page, and the trustee’s original signature. You may make multiple certified copies, but all must have original signatures on the front page.

  • Federal Taxpayer Identification Number: If you haven’t already applied for a Federal Taxpayer Identification Number, you must obtain one before you can open any accounts or transfer any assets. If the trust is a revocable living trust, you may use the grantor’s Social Security number during his or her lifetime.

  • Proof of ownership: You must show documentation that proves the grantor owns the property before you can transfer it to the trust.

Depending on the type of property you’re transferring, you may also need new registration forms, signature cards, or other documents. The company where you’re transferring the property will provide the necessary forms.

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