Tennessee Certificate of Trust
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Certificate of Trust for Real Estate Located in Tennessee
The certificate of trust is codified at T.C.A. 35-15-1013 as part of the Tennessee Uniform Trust Code. The purpose of the certificate is "to evidence the existence and validity of the trust" (35-15-1013(a)). The document contains sworn statements made "by the trustee or trustees having signatory authority as identified" within the document (35-15-1013(a)). The recipient of a certificate of trust may rely on the statements made within as factual without additional inquiry (35-15-1013(d)).
Instead of furnishing the trust document, a trustee may present a certificate of trust to third parties when doing business on behalf of the trust. The certificate is a condensed summary of the trust and its provisions, and allows the settlor's estate plans, including the identities of trust beneficiaries, to remain private.
A certificate of trust contains statements that the trust exists and that it "has not been revoked, modified or amended in any manner that would cause" the information in the certificate to be incorrect. The document recites the name and date of trust, the settlor, trustee, and relevant powers of the trustee to conduct the business for which the certificate is presented.
If there is a successor trustee, the document details the conditions of their succession. Certificates for trusts with multiple trustees define how many trustees are required to jointly act to conduct trustee powers. If the trust is revocable, the form includes the name of anyone with a power to revoke the trust. Finally, it presents the name by which the trust holds title to assets and, if necessary for the transaction for which the certificate is given, the trust's identification number.
If recorded to facilitate acquisitions or transfers of real property, a certificate of trust should include the legal description of the property subject to the transfer. The document must meet requirements for recording in Tennessee before submitted in the register of deeds in the appropriate county.
The protections under 35-15-1013 for persons dealing with trustees are not dependent on receipt of a certificate.
Contact a lawyer for questions about preparing a certificate of trust or any other matters involving trusts in Tennessee.