Free Certificate of Trust Form

A Certificate of Trust is an indispensable tool required to manage a trust. Create your own Affidavit of Trust form with our easy-to-use customizable template and save on expensive lawyer fees.

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Last Update February 9th, 2024

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What Is a Certificate of Trust

A Certificate of Trust is a legal document that serves to prove the existence of a trust

The Certificate also provides a trustee with the legal authority to supply important information about the trust to third parties.

In short, a Certificate of Trust is an abbreviated form of a trust agreement

It outlines pertinent information about the trust and hides any sensitive details that you may not want to disclose to the public.

Certificate of Trust forms typically contain the following elements:

  • The name of the trust and the date when it was created
  • The trust tax ID number
  • The name and address of the settlor (grantor)
  • The name and address of the trustee
  • The trustee’s powers (full or limited)
  • The type of trust (revocable or irrevocable)
  • A property description (if real estate is involved)

Create your own certificate by using our customizable Certificate of Trust template to avoid inaccuracies and misunderstandings.

How to Get a Certificate of Trust

1. Examine the Original Trust Document

To create a certificate of trust, you must thoroughly study the original trust document

It is in this document that you will find some of the basic information that you need to include in the certificate. 

An example of this is the trust tax number identification or the name and date when the trust was created. Contact the attorney that drafted the trust agreement and request a copy.

2. Make Sure the Original Version of the Trust Hasn’t Changed

Certificates of Trust, like any legal form, must be accurate to be valid in court. 

When contacting the trust creator, make sure to ask if there have been any alterations to the original. 

Confirm that the information contained in the trust document is still up-to-date.

3. Establish the Scope of Powers That the Trustee Will Have

Trustees can be assigned full or limited powers. Granting trustees full powers means that they will be able to take the necessary legal decisions to administer and control all trust property. If trustees are not to have unlimited legal powers, the restrictions will need to be listed in the certificate of trust. 

For example, trustee powers can be limited to improving the profitability of the trust, but they may not be allowed to divide it or sell it.

4. Determine Whether You Will Have Single or Multiple Trustees

A trustee should be a competent individual with the necessary abilities and legal knowledge to administer the trust efficiently and ethically. 

You should consider expertise and experience when choosing trustees. Depending on the complexity of the trust, you may want to designate multiple trustees. 

For example, you may want to assign different trustees to handle investments and accounting, as they are fundamentally different specialization areas.

5. Create the document

To complete your Certificate of Trust, you must include the following sections:

  • Header: This mentions the state and county where the document is being created.
  • Affiant statement: This is a third-party declaration confirming that the information in the certificate is exact.
  • Trust: This section should provide all details related to the trust.
  • Names and addresses: The full names and addresses of the settlor, trustee, and successor trustee must be added.
  • Trustee authority: This section contains the signature of the trustee or trustees, in case there are multiple ones.
  • Trustee powers: Whether they’re full or limited.
  • Real estate: This part of the document clarifies if the trust consists of any real property and includes its legal description.
  • Affiant signature and date.

6. Notarize the Trust Certificate

Like many legal documents, Certificates of Trust need to be notarized. 

The notary public must be present when the affiant signs the certificate to acknowledge the process as complete. A specific area at the end of the trust document should be provided for this purpose.

Certification of Trust Laws

States often have their own laws to regulate Certificates of Trust. 

Make sure that your document complies with the law specific to the state where the grantor lives.

State Law
Alabama § 19-3B-1013
Alaska § AS 13.36.079
Arizona § ARS 14-11013
Arkansas § 28-73-1013
California § PROB 18100.5
Colorado § 15-5-1013
Connecticut § 45a-499zzz
Delaware § 3591
Florida § 736.1017
Georgia § 53-12-280
Hawaii § NEW-1013
Idaho § 68-115
Illinois § 760 ILCS 3/1013
Indiana § 30-4-4-5
Iowa §633A.4604
Kansas § 58a-1013
Kentucky § 386B.10-120
Louisiana § 8:452
Maine §1013
Maryland § 14.5-910
Massachusetts § Section 1013
Michigan § 700.7913
Minnesota § 501C.1013
Mississippi § 91-8-1013
Missouri § 456.10-1013
Montana § 72-38-1013
Nebraska § 30-38,103
Nevada § NRS 164
New Hampshire § 564-B:10-1013
New Jersey § 3B:31-81
New Mexico §46A-10-1012
New York No statute
North Carolina § 36C-10-1013
North Dakota § 59-18-13
Ohio § 5810.13
Oklahoma §6-902
Oregon § UTC 1013
Pennsylvania § 7790.3
Rhode Island § 34-4-27
South Carolina § 62-7-1013
South Dakota § 55-4-51
Tennessee § 35-15-1013
Texas § 114.086
Utah § 75-7-1013
Vermont § 1013
Virginia § 64.2-804
Washington § 11.98.075
Washington D.C. § 19–1310.13
West Virginia §44D-10-1013
Wisconsin § 701.1013
Wyoming § 4-10-1014

Certificate of Trust vs Trust Agreement

Trust Agreements and Certificates of Trust are closely related, yet different.

Certificate of Trust Trust Agreement
Proves the existence of a trust and grants full or limited powers to a trustee or trustees. Legal document that gives ownership of assets or property to a trustee to be held in trust for beneficiaries.
May exclude sensitive information contained in the Trust Agreement. Lists all information pertaining to a Trust, including that of sensitive nature.

Certificate of Trust Example

As all legal documents, the information contained in Trust Certificates needs to not only be accurate and truthful, but must also have a certain format to be accepted in court

The structure of a Certificate of Trust is simple. However, we highly recommend that you use a sample to create yours. The best way to ensure that your Trust Certificate is legally valid is by first examining our Certificate of Trust sample.

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Affidavit Certificate of Trust Form Sample

FAQs About Certificate of Trust

Certificates of trust are highly sensitive documents that contain important information about a trust and the parties involved.

We have prepared some answers to the most frequently asked questions to help you understand the intricacies of this type of legal document.

How Do I Download a Trust Certificate?

Although sensitive in nature, Certificates of Trust have a standard structure that makes them easy to draft. 

There is no need to pay expensive lawyer fees. Using LawDistrict, you can create and download in just a few clicks a Certificate of Trust form with our customizable online template.

What Is the Purpose of a Certificate of Trust?

A Certificate of Trust demonstrates that a trust exists. It also assigns trustees and defines their authority to manage and administer the trust without having to make public all information contained in the trust agreement. 

Trust Certificates typically contain information such as the name of the trust, the date when the trust was created, trustee names and addresses. 

It also includes other useful information for third parties, such as credit institutions.

Does a Trust Certificate Need to Be Notarized?

Yes, as with many legal documents, trust certificates must be notarized to be valid in court. 

Before notarizing a certificate of trust, be sure that the document contains all the information outlined in the state law where the grantor lives.

It is also a good idea to contact the trust creator to confirm that there have been no changes in the original trust document.

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Affidavit Certificate of Trust Form Sample

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