Is Notarization Required For A Certification of Trust?

Does a Certification of Trust Need to be Notarized?

A Certification of Trust is a document that provides essential information about a living trust, such as the name of the trust, the names of the trustees, and other relevant details. It serves as a summary that allows individuals or organizations to verify the existence and basic terms of the trust without revealing private or sensitive information.

The California Probate Code, specifically Section 18100.5, outlines the requirements for a Certification of Trust. According to this statute, a person who acts in good faith and without actual knowledge that the facts stated in the Certificate of Trust are false may rely upon the information contained in the certificate.  The Probate Code requires an “acknowledged declaration” for the Certification of Trust. An “acknowledged declaration” is tantamount to a notarization. 

Benefits of Notarization:

The Certification of Trust document comes in handy when one is transacting business on behalf of their trust, for example, opening a bank account in the name of the trust or buying real property in the name of the trust, or selling property out of the trust. The Certification of Trust is often requested by banks and lenders in lieu of your much lengthier and much more confidential Living Trust. The Certification of Trust must be notarized.

Notarization for the  Certification in California has several; advantages:

  • Enhanced Credibility: Notarization adds credibility to the Certification of Trust, as a notary public verifies the identities of the parties involved and witnesses the signing of the document.
  • Third-Party Acceptance: Financial institutions, title companies, and other entities almost always  require notarization before accepting the Certification of Trust for certain transactions.
  • Avoiding Challenges: Notarization can deter potential challenges to the authenticity of the document, as the notary’s stamp and signature provide evidence of the signing.

Steps to Notarize a Certification of Trust in California:

To obtain notarization for the Certification of Trust, follow these steps:

  • Find a Notary Public: Locate a licensed notary public authorized to perform notarizations in California.
  • Present Valid Identification: All parties signing the Certification of Trust must present valid identification to the notary public.
  • Signing the Document: Sign the Certification of Trust in the presence of the notary public, who will then complete the notarial certificate.
  • Notary’s Acknowledgment: The notary public will attach their official seal and signature to the Certification of Trust, certifying the authenticity of the signatures.

Remember, the notary public does not offer legal advice or verify the accuracy or completeness of the Certification of Trust content. They only validate the identity of the signatories and witness the signing.

How Ironclad Living Trust Attorneys Can Help

Establishing a living trust and creating a valid Certification of Trust can be complex, particularly when navigating the specific requirements of California law. This is where ironclad living trust attorneys play a crucial role. Here’s how they can assist:

Expertise in Estate Planning: Living trust attorneys in California possess in-depth knowledge of estate planning laws, ensuring that the trust document and its Certification comply with California laws and regulations. Their expertise helps minimize errors, maximize the trust’s benefits, and safeguard your assets.

Customized Trust Solutions: Attorneys tailor the living trust to meet your unique needs, taking into account factors such as family dynamics, tax considerations, and asset protection strategies. Their guidance ensures that your wishes are accurately reflected in the trust document.

Ensuring Compliance: Ironclad living trust attorneys ensure that all legal formalities, including notarization and certification requirements, are properly addressed. They guide you through the process, making sure that your Certification of Trust adheres to the applicable standards, reducing the risk of future complications.

Licensed to Practice Law Since 1991 in All State Courts in California