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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Note:

A revocable Trust is a type of Trust that can be created during the Settlor's lifetime and can be modified, amended, or revoked by the Settlor at any time while they are still alive. Conversely, an irrevocable Trust cannot be modified, amended, or revoked by the Settlor.

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Last Update June 12th, 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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Preview of your Certificate of Trust

CERTIFICATE OF TRUST
I, _________, trustee of the _________ dated _________, certify as follows:
1. Trust Name and Date.
The following Trust (referred to herein as the "Trust") is the subject of this Certification of Trust:

The _________, under agreement dated _________ (the "Trust Agreement").

The Trust has been in existence uninterrupted since _________ and is currently in full force and effect.
2. Settlor and Trustee.
The Settlor of the Trust is (referred to herein as the "Settlor"):

_________ residing at _________
The current Trustee of the Trust is (referred to herein as the "Trustee"):

_________ residing at _________
3. Powers of Trustee.
The Trustee of the Trust is authorized to: _________
4. Revocability.
Pursuant to the terms of the Trust Agreement, the Settlor may alter, amend, revoke, or terminate the Trust at any time. The Trust has not been terminated, revoked, modified, or amended in any manner that would cause the representations contained in this Certification of Trust to be incorrect, and there have been no amendments limiting the powers of the Trustee over the property of the Trust as described in this Certification of Trust.
5. Manner of Taking Title.
The full legal name of the Trust for purposes of transferring assets into the Trust, titling assets, and conducting business for and on behalf of the Trust is the following: _________.

_________ is the Trustee of the above-mentioned trust.
6. Employer Identification Number.
The Employer Identification Number for the Trust will be provided upon request.
7. No Revocations, Modifications, or Amendments.
The Trust instrument has not been revoked, modified, or amended in any manner that would cause the representations contained in this Certification of Trust to be incorrect.
8. Signed by the Currently Acting Trustee.
This Certification of Trust is being signed by _________, the currently acting trustee of the Trust.
9. Accuracy.
This certification is a true and accurate statement of the matters referenced herein.
10. Reliance on This Certification.
This certification is made in accordance with Section 18100.5 of the California Probate Code, a copy of which is attached to this instrument. Any transaction entered by a person acting in reliance on this certification shall be enforceable against the trust assets.

SECTION 18100.5(h) OF THE CALIFORNIA PROBATE CODE PROVIDES THAT ANY PERSON WHO REFUSES TO ACCEPT THIS CERTIFICATE IN LIEU OF THE ORIGINAL TRUST DOCUMENT WILL BE LIABLE FOR DAMAGES, INCLUDING ATTORNEY'S FEES, INCURRED AS A RESULT OF THAT REFUSAL, IF THE COURT DETERMINES THAT THE PERSON ACTED IN BAD FAITH IN REQUESTING THE TRUST DOCUMENT.
I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the State of California that the foregoing is true and correct.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the Trustee have hereunto set their hands as of _____ day of _______________, 20___.
 Trustee

______________________________
_________, Trustee
Acknowledgment

A notary public or other officer completing this certificate verifies only the identity of the individual who signed the document to which this certificate is attached, and not the truthfulness, accuracy, or validity of that document.


STATE OF CALIFORNIA
COUNTY OF _____________________


On this _____ day of _______________, 20___, before me, ____________________ (name and title of the officer), personally appeared _________, who proved to me on the basis of satisfactory evidence to be the person whose name is subscribed to the within instrument and acknowledged to me that he/she/they executed the same in his/her/their authorized capacity and that by his/her/their signature on the instrument the person, or the entity upon behalf of which the person acted, executed the instrument.

I certify under PENALTY OF PERJURY under the laws of the State of California that the foregoing paragraph is true and correct.

WITNESS my hand and official seal.


________________________________ (seal)
Notary Public


________________________________
(print name)
Text of Section 18100.5 of the California Probate Code
(a) The Trustee may present a Certification of Trust to any person in lieu of providing a copy of the Trust instrument to establish the existence or terms of the Trust. A Certification of Trust may be executed by the Trustee voluntarily or at the request of the person with whom the Trustee is dealing.

(b) The Certification of Trust may confirm the following facts or contain the following information:

     (1) The existence of the trust and date of execution of the trust instrument.
     (2) The identity of the Settlor or Settlors and the currently acting Trustee or Trustees of the Trust.
     (3) The powers of the Trustee.
     (4) The revocability or irrevocability of the Trust and the identity of any person holding any power to revoke the Trust.
     (5) When there are multiple Trustees, 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.
     (6) The trust identification number, whether a social security number or an employer identification number.
     (7) The manner in which title to trust assets should be taken.
     (8) The legal description of any interest in real property held in the Trust.

(c) The Certification of Trust shall contain a statement that the trust has not been revoked, modified, or amended in any manner that would cause the representations contained in the certification of trust to be incorrect and shall contain a statement that it is being signed by all of the currently acting trustees of the Trust. The certification shall be in the form of an acknowledged declaration signed by all currently acting Trustees of the Trust. The Certification of Trust signed by the currently acting Trustee may be recorded in the office of the county recorder in the county where all or a portion of the real property is located.

(d) The Certification of Trust may but is not required to include excerpts from the original trust documents, any amendments thereto, and any other documents evidencing or pertaining to the succession of Successor Trustees. The certification of trust shall not be required to contain the dispositive provisions of the Trust, which set forth the distribution of the Trust Estate.

(e) A person whose interest is, or may be, affected by the Certification of Trust may require that the Trustee offering or recording the Certification of Trust provide copies of those excerpts from the original trust documents, any amendments thereto, and any other documents which designate, evidence, or pertaining to the succession of the Trustee or confer upon the Trustee the power to act in the pending transaction, or both. Nothing in this section is intended to require or imply an obligation to provide the dispositive provisions of the Trust or the entire Trust and amendments thereto.

(f) A person who acts in reliance upon a Certification of Trust without actual knowledge that the representations contained therein are incorrect is not liable to any person for so acting. A person who does not have actual knowledge that the facts contained in the Certification of Trust are incorrect may assume without inquiry the existence of the facts contained in the Certification of Trust. Actual knowledge shall not be inferred solely from the fact that a copy of all or part of the trust instrument is held by the person relying upon the Trust Certification. Any transaction, and any lien created thereby, entered into by the Trustee and a person acting in reliance upon a certification of trust shall be enforceable against the assets of the Trust.

However, if the person has actual knowledge that the Trustee is acting outside the scope of the Trust, then the transaction is not enforceable against the trust assets. Nothing contained herein shall limit the rights of the beneficiaries of the Trust against the Trustee.

(g) A person’s failure to demand a Certification of Trust does not affect the protection provided to that person by Section 18100, and no inference as to whether that person has acted in good faith may be drawn from the failure to demand a certification of trust. Nothing in this section is intended to create an implication that a person is liable for acting in reliance upon a Certification of Trust under circumstances where the requirements of this section are not satisfied.

(h) Except when requested by a beneficiary or in the context of litigation concerning a Trust and subject to the provisions of subdivision (e), any person making a demand for the document of the Trust in addition to a Certification of Trust to prove facts set forth in the Certification of Trust acceptable to the third party shall be liable for damages, including attorney’s fees, incurred as a result of the refusal to accept the Certification of Trust in lieu of the requested documents if the court determines that the person acted in bad faith in requesting the trust documents.

(i) Any person may record a Certification of Trust that relates to an interest in real property in the office of the county recorder in any county in which all or a portion of the real property is located. The county recorder shall impose any fee prescribed by law for recording that document sufficient to cover all costs incurred by the county in recording the document. The recorded Certification of tTrust shall be a public record of the real property involved.

This subdivision does not create a requirement to record a Certification of Trust in conjunction with the recordation of a transfer of title of real property involving a trust.
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Note:

A revocable Trust is a type of Trust that can be created during the Settlor's lifetime and can be modified, amended, or revoked by the Settlor at any time while they are still alive. Conversely, an irrevocable Trust cannot be modified, amended, or revoked by the Settlor.