6 Tips for Naming Your Trust

  • Posted on: Nov 20 2020
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It may not seem like a big deal, but naming your trust can be a big responsibility. While there are no laws about what the name of your trust must be, as there are with naming your legal entity (e.g. corporation), what you choose to call it can be extremely important. Since trusts are not registered with the IRS or the state or federal government, you do not need to have the name of your trust approved. Rather, the creator of the trust can choose to name it how he or she sees fit. But before you go naming your trust just anything, keep these 6 tips in mind in order to establish validity, prevent confusion, and best protect your interests.

6 Things to Keep in Mind When Naming Your Trust

1. Choose a Shorter Name 

When it comes to naming your trust, shorter is often better. This is because longer names only increase the opportunity for you to misspell something. Additionally, with longer names, you may have to make an abbreviation when filling out a real estate or printed bank form if there is not enough space. This can also create confusion. For example, instead of “Homer X. Simpson and Marge Q. Simpson Revocable Trust dated 3/2/11,” it would be preferable to name the trust “Simpson Family Trust dated 3/2/11.”

2. Name it Something Untraceable to You

Sometimes you don’t want anyone to know that you or your family is associated with the trust in question. In such a case, in order to maintain your privacy, you may choose to name it something that does not have the names of the Trust Creators or anyone related to the trust. You could choose something as simple as naming the trust after your dog. 

3. Consider Naming Your Trust with Your Family Name

While this may not be an option when privacy is desired, it may be easier to name the trust something that has to do with your family name. By doing so, you can avoid as many questions pertaining to the validity of the trust when you are engaging in trust-related business transactions.

4. Consider Keeping Your Business Separate

If your trust was created for a specific purpose, such as owning and operating a business in a particular building, you may choose to name the trust the same as the street address rather than the business name. By doing so you can keep the business separate. For example, if you own and operate “The Cheap Apartment Company” at 321 Money Court, you may want to name the trust, “321 Money Court Trust dated 6/12/03.”

5. Ensure that Your Name Checks Out

One of the more common mistakes that people make when naming their trust is failing to use a legal name or misspelling a name. If the names in question do not match up, you may have a serious problem. For instance, if your name is Marty McFly, Jr., it’s extremely important to include the suffix of “Jr.,” as the failure to do so may cause questioning as to why the name on one legal document (such as a deed), is not the same name on the death certificate.

6. Double-check Your Spelling

Before you finish by signing the declaration of trust, be sure that the name is spelled the same on your other legal documents such as your driver’s license, birth certificate, Social Security card, military records, deed to your home, etc. It’s best to have all of the names on these documents match. However, if they do not match, it’s imperative that you explain this in the declaration of trust before signing it. This can help to prevent much confusion in the future. 

The Law Offices of Brian L. Fox, APLC Help Individuals with their Estate Planning Needs

While important, estate planning can often be complex and confusing. Simple errors can often lead to a huge mess. This is why it’s in your best interest to consult with a knowledgeable and experienced Estate Planning attorney.

At the Law Offices of Brian L. Fox, APLC, we know how important it is to protect what – and whom – you care about. We will help you to establish a comprehensive estate plan that meets your needs. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today!

Posted in: Wills and Trusts