Palm Springs Law Blog

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Naming Your Trust: Tips to Keep in Mind

While we know that the decision of what to name a child is extremely important, most people are unaware of the importance of naming your trust. Unlike other legal entities, such as corporations and LLCs, there are no laws when it comes to naming your trust. This is because your trust is not registered with the government. Therefore, the creator of a trust has the right to name it as he or she sees fit. And while that may seem like a better scenario, it isn’t without its own set of unforeseen challenges.

While the government doesn’t have to approve of the name of the trust, real estate title insurance companies, banks, and the like must know the name in order to properly file and find legal documents (e.g. selling a trust property). Although it may not seem like a big deal, what you name the trust can be extremely important in preventing the verification and validity of contracts and deeds.

Even though most trusts are simply named after the Trust Creators and the date of creation (ex: John and Jane Doe Revocable Trust dated 3/17/19), there are many things to keep in mind. Here are some tips for naming your trust.

Choose a Shorter Name

It’s easier to work with a shorter name since the longer the name the greater the chance of there being a spelling mistake or the need for an abbreviation on forms that do not provide enough space. Therefore it would likely be better to name a trust, “Doe Family Trust dated 3/17/19” than “John B. Doe and Jane R. Doe Revocable Trust.”

Use a Name that Doesn’t Include the Creators

Sometimes confidentiality may be an issue. If you wish to keep the owner of the trust private, it may be best to select a name that does not include the names of the creators or those associated with the trust. You could even name it after a family pet.

Consider a Name that Has Something to do with Your Family Name

However, it’s important to bear in mind that if you choose a name that has nothing to do with your family name, it may lead to more questions from those with whom you do business for the trust. You may have a more difficult time.

Consider Using the Street Address

If your trust has to do with a specific purpose, such as owning and operating a commercial property on 123 Happy Street, you may wish to name it after the street address in order to keep the actual business itself separate: “123 Happy Street Trust dated 11/12/2012.”

Use Correct Spelling and Legal Names

One of the biggest mistakes that people make in naming their trust is failing to spell names correctly or to use someone’s actual legal name. If you are John Doe III, it is important that you include the suffix, “III,” otherwise it can make validating your identity and ownership difficult.

Recheck the Spelling of the Name

Prior to signing the declaration of trust, it’s really important that you ensure that the spelling of the name is the same as on your personal records, such as your:

  1. Birth certificate
  2. Driver’s license
  3. Social Security card
  4. Deed to your home
  5. Military records

Should the spelling of any of these documents differ, it’s important to explain them in the declaration of trust.

Heritage Legal, PC Helps Those in California to Establish Trusts and Comprehensive Estate Plans

While very important, many estate planning documents, such as a trust, can prove quite complex, often leading to headaches if not done correctly. That’s why it is so important to consult with a knowledgeable and experienced California Estate Planning Attorney.

At Heritage Legal, PC, we understand the importance of protecting those whom you care about most and helping to ease the burden on your family. We can help you establish a trust and a comprehensive estate plan that meets all of your needs. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today!

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