Pennsylvania Certificate of Trust

Certificate of Trust for Real Estate Located in Pennsylvania

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Find the laws regarding certificates of trust at section 7790.3 of the Pennsylvania Statutes.

A trustee is a person or entity who holds title to a trust's assets on behalf of a settlor. Trustees use an official document called a certificate of trust to validate the trust's existence and confirm their authority to act on its behalf.

In order to facilitate transactions dealing with real property in a trust, lenders may require the trustee to furnish a certificate of trust. Third parties may also request a certificate to confirm the trustee has the authority, for example, to transfer real property out of the trust and to them.

The certificate presents essential information about the (unrecorded) full trust instrument, while protecting the confidentiality of its specific details. A recipient of a certificate may still request copies of certain sections of the trust instrument, particularly those establishing the appointment of a trustee and the trustee's powers, as well as amendments to the trust, but the request opens up certain liabilities, as enumerated in P.S. 7790.3(e),(h).

Section 7790.3 governs the contents and effect of the certificate. Requirements of the certificate include basic information such as the name of the settlor of the trust, the type of trust, the taxpayer identification number assigned to the trust, the acting trustee's name, and the relevant powers of the trustee. The trustee executes and signs the certificate and submits it for recording in the county in which the real property with which the trust is concerned is located.

(Pennsylvania COT Package includes form, guidelines, and completed example)

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