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Codified under the Kentucky Uniform Trust Code at KSA 386B.10-120, the certification of trust is a document containing the relevant details of a trust and certifying a trustee's authority to act on behalf of a trust.
(Note: this certificate of trust is separate from the certificate of trust for business trusts under 386A.2-010 of the Kentucky Uniform Statutory Trust Act.)
A trustee can furnish the certification of trust instead of providing the entire trust instrument, as it "need not contain the dispositive terms of a trust" (KSA 386B.10-120(4)). In this way, the trustee can keep information irrelevant to the transaction, specifically the identities of trust beneficiaries, private.
A certificate of trust requires the name and date of the trust, along with the settlor's name. The settlor is the person who created the trust and is funding the trust with assets. In addition, the certificate identifies the currently acting trustee. The trustee is the fiduciary in charge of administering the trust.
In addition, the document details the powers of the trustee concerning the transaction at hand. For example, the certification of trust is commonly used in conjunction with a deed executed by a trustee, so the trustee's power to convey property is often cited, with reference to the article or section of the trust instrument where the power is conferred. Recipients of a certificate can request excerpts from the trust instrument that designate the trustee and authorize the power to act in the pending transaction (KSA 386B.10-120(5)).
The certificate states whether the trust is irrevocable or revocable, and the identity of anyone with the power to revoke the trust, if applicable. If there are co-trustees, the document names the trustees authorized to sign trust documents and whether all or fewer than all are needed to carry out the trustee's powers. The certificate also gives the full name by which the trust will vest real property.
Since the document affects real property, a certificate should include the legal description of the subject property or properties. Pursuant to KSA 386B.10-120(2), any trustee can sign a certification of trust in the presence of a notary public. Certifications may be recorded as a supplemental document in the county in which the real property is located.
Finally, the certificate requires a statement that the trust referred to within "has not been revoked, modified, or amended" so as to cause the statements within to be incorrect (KSA 386B.10-120(3)). Recipients may rely on the representations within the certification as factual (KSA 386B.10-120(6)). They may request the trust instrument in addition to the excerpts mentioned above, but doing so opens them to certain liabilities under KSA 386B.10-120(8).
Consult a lawyer for guidance, as trust law can quickly become complicated.
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