Bank accounts, safe deposit boxes, stock accounts, everything you sign your name for needs to be assigned to the trust.  Technically the assets aren’t “assigned” to the trust. Ownership of the assets is changed from you to the trust.

In the bank situation, you need to take a copy of the signed trust down to your bank.  (Actually, if you have it, you will take a copy of the certificate of trust or certification of trust to the bank.)  The bank may make a copy of the certification of trust for your file.

You are simply changing the signature card to the trust ownership.  You shouldn’t have to have new checks printed.  The account number shouldn’t change.  You are simply getting a new signature card.

Some banks get it and some don’t.  I had a lady last week with hundreds of thousands of dollars in a credit union account.  The credit union wouldn’t let her change the account to a trust account without the trust having a tax ID number.

Your living revocable trust should be a “grantor trust.”  By law your social security number is the tax ID number for the trust.  The credit union just said it was their policy to have a tax ID required for the trust.  This means the lady has to file a separate tax return for the trust, etc., etc.

The credit union is now several hundred thousand dollars poorer, and another bank that will play the game is a lot richer.  Welcome to the world of banking.

My book, Protecting Your Financial Future, walks you through how to move the bank account and all of your other property into your trust.  Check it out sometime; it’s a great read.

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