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Title Insurance Requirements for Insuring Trusts

In today’s world of busy probate courts and exorbitant death taxes, the living trust has become a common manner of holding title to real property. The following may help you understand a few of the requirements of the title insurance industry if title to property is conveyed to the trustee of a living trust.

What is a trust?

An agreement between a trustor and trustee for the trustee to hold title to and administer designated assets of the trustor for the use and benefit of one or more beneficiaries.

Can a trust itself acquire and convey interests in real property?

No. The trust is an arrangement between a trustee and the trustor. Only the trustee, on behalf of the trust, may own and convey any interest in real property. The trustee may only exercise the powers granted in the trust.

What will the title company require if a trustee holds the title to the property which is part of the trust?

A certification of trust containing the following information:

  1. Date of execution of the trust instrument,
  2. Identity of the trustor and trustee,
  3. Powers of the trustee,
  4. Identity of person with power to revoke trust, if any,
  5. Signature authority of the trustees,
  6. Manner in which title to the trust assets should be taken,
  7. Legal description of any interest in the property held by the trust, and
  8. A statement that the trust has not been revoked, modified, or amended in any manner which would cause the certification to be incorrect and that the certification is being signed by all currently acting trustees of the trust

My trust contains certain amounts of money to be given to various charities which is none of your business. Can I omit these pages?

Because many different provisions may be on the same page, the answer must be no -- but if the title company requires a copy of the trust, it may accept a copy with those amounts blacked out.

If there is more than one trustee, can just one sign?

Maybe. The trust must specifically provide for less than all to sign.

Can the trustee give someone a power-of-attorney?

Only if the trust specifically provides for the appointment of an attorney-in-fact.

What will the title company require if all the trustees have died or are unwilling to act?

If the trustor is not able to do so, or the trust provisions prohibit the trustor from appointing a new trustee, the court may do so.

How does a notary acknowledge the signature of the trustee?

Title is vested in the trustee. Hence, if the trustee is an individual or a corporation, then the new general form of acknowledgment will be prepared to reflect the intrinsic nature of the trustee.

How would the deed to the trustee ordinarily be worded to transfer title to the trustee?

“John Doe and Mary Doe, as trustees of the Doe family trust, under declaration of trust dated January 1,1992.”

Are there any limitations on what a trustee may do?

Yes, the trustee is limited principally and most importantly by the provisions of the trust and, thus, may only act within the terms of the trust. The probate code contains general powers which, unless limited by the trust agreement, are sufficient for title insurers to rely on for sale, conveyance, and refinance purposes.

Article by CLTA

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Assist2Sell
Piele Realty LLC

Chris Piele | 720.628.2625
CPiele@WeBuySellColorado.com
2851 S. Parker Rd. Ste PH20
Aurora, CO 80014

Testimonials

We tried to sell our home in Aurora by ourselves to avoid the high commissions that all the realtors were asking for. Frankly the process was very draining on us, trying to do our own marketing, open houses and all the stuff that comes with selling a home. I received a letter from Chris Piele at Assist2Sell and after sitting down with him, we decided to hand the task of selling our home over to him. We chose Chris because of his knowledge of “old school” and current methods of selling homes. And we felt he had the negotiation skills necessary to assure we would get the most money possible out of our home. Chris and his team quickly took care of everything needed to get the home listed and marketed, then within a just couple of days the showings to prospective buyers came in very consistently. He managed to sell our home in just one week and for the price we wanted. And did all that for a flat fee versus the high commissions all the other agents wanted to list our home. Better yet, he found us a buyer who did not have an agent so we did not have to pay a buyer’s agent commission. Frankly, we were THRILLED. If you want to save a ton of money in selling your home, and you want to sell it without a lot of brain damage, then we strongly recommend Chris Piele and his team. David and Marie Galegor
Chris Piele and his Real Estate Team were great to work with.  He helped us purchase a home in Aurora, Colorado.  He and his staff were always professional and very helpful.  I would recommend him when you buy or sell your next home.  It was a very positive experience. I would use Chris Piele for my next real estate transaction. Ronnie and Drake Davis
It was a pleasure to work with Chris in the sale of my mother’s home. He took great care of us. Our situation was unique in that my mother doesn’t own a computer…she doesn’t even have an email address. We received a generous, above asking price offer. Chris literally drove across town to her house to hand deliver the offer, explain everything, and get a signature before the deadline. He saved us thousands of dollars in commissions and provided excellent service. Chris and his staff were prompt, pro-active, professional, and in constant communication with us through the entire process. Renae Powell
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