CA Estate Planning Blog

Monday, March 4, 2013

Trust Certifications

You’ve been responsible, consulted a qualified Estate Planning Attorney, created a Trust, correctly transferred your assets.  And now you want to purchase or refinance a home that will be held in your Trust.  In order to do so, you will need a Trust Certification and Legal Opinion letter, which can only be produced by a licensed attorney.

 

Trust Certification

A Trust Certification involves an attorney reviewing your Trust and making a legal determination that according to the terms of the Trust the Trust assets can be encumbered and that the Trustee has the legal authority to encumber the Trust assets.  This generally refers to the ability to purchase a home or refinance your existing mortgage.  With a Trust Certification your property remains in your Trust.

 

Legal Opinion

A legal opinion letter refers to a letter written by an attorney which states that as of the day of review and according to the terms of the Trust, the Trust assets can be encumbered and that the Trustee has the authority to encumber the assets.  Only an Attorney can provide a Trust Certification and Legal Opinion Letter.     

 

Benefits

By keeping the property in a trust, the property is not exposed to any potential complications.  If you take the property out of the Trust, and something happens to you, your property could be exposed to the probate process, thereby defeating all of your Estate Planning efforts.  Taking the property out of the Trust also involves the added expense of recording the deed additional times.  And, there is always the possibility of forgetting to put the property back into your Trust. 


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