Certification of Trust Lawyer

A certification of trust document can be very helpful to have if you are a trustee. Whether working as trustee of your own revocable trust or serving as trustee for someone else’s trust, a trust certification document can help you do your job with greater efficiency and privacy.

At the Huizenga Law Firm, we can prepare a certification of trust that complies with all the requirements of Iowa law so that it will be accepted by financial institutions and other critical entities.

How a Certification of Trust Works

A certification of trust is a legal document used to establish the authenticity of a trust and the authority of the trustee. Essentially, this document proves that the trust exists and that the trust is authorized to manage it. Of course, the trust document itself does the same thing, but a certification of trust is easier to use and it keeps crucial terms private.

The trust certification document is much shorter than the full trust document itself. This makes it considerably easier to use. Instead of faxing a lengthy document to a bank, for instance, you can send the brief certification document.

While this convenience is the primary advantage for some people, other people prefer to use a certification of trust because it provides only the basic information about the trust without divulging details. For instance, someone who reads the certification will not know the identity of the beneficiary or how much they are receiving. This can be particularly valuable for families who want to keep certain arrangements confidential, and for individuals who want to respect the privacy of sensitive family members.

Requirements for a Certification of Trust in Iowa

Iowa Code §633A.4604 describes the information that must be included in a Certification of Trust. To be legally valid, this document must include:

  • The names of all current trustees
  • A statement indicating whether trustees may act individually or whether they can only act by majority decision or unanimous decision.
  • Language specifying that the trust has not been revoked, modified, or “amended in any manner that would cause the representations in the certification of trust to be incorrect.”
  • The signature of the currently acting trustee or their attorney
  • Date of signing

In addition, the document must certify under penalty of perjury (and under Iowa law) that the certification is “true and correct,” or it must be subscribed and sworn to before a notary public.

Using a Certification of Trust

When a certification is prepared in compliance with Iowa law, financial institutions and other entities are required to take it seriously. They may ask the trustee to provide proof of their identity. They can also ask for copies of excerpts from the trust that designate the trustee and give them authority to undertake the transaction at issue.

However, if a person or institution demands a copy of the full trust instrument, they can be held liable for damages. If a trustee provides the certification and someone refuses to transfer property or provide payment within a reasonable time, the trustee can sue them.

Get a Certification of Trustee from the Huizenga Law Firm

Acting on behalf of a trust can be a challenging job. Using a certification of trust is one way to make that job easier. In addition, you protect the privacy of your family, or the grantor and beneficiaries of the trust.

The team at the Huizenga Law Firm would be happy to prepare a certification of trust to meet your needs. Just contact us at your convenience.