WHERE ARE THE TRUST RECORDS?
Trust records normally...
The records of a single asset are kept in the folder of that particular asset. That could grow into a box of records. If there is daily business management, or interaction with the public like a business, that asset may be better operated as a corporation or LLC. You could still protect the stock, inventory, equipment, and accounts within a trust.
Records of a passive asset like an investment account, a vehicle, or a list of inventory, can be pretty small.
Similarly, the records of the management by the Trustee can be pretty small and may have very little activity. Therefore, records are simple to manage, and perhaps have very little need for constant review or other activity.
Trust records are SAFE...
Many families keep the records in a safety deposit box or hide them.
This can be a big mistake! Everyone can be stressed and confused If the records cannot be easily and quickly found. Worse, this may cause the courts to take control and ignore your wishes and instructions. Then, there is the time and expense that would be wasted as well. It would be a shame if all of your plans were worthless.
It's important to have copies in multiple locations, some immediately on hand, and some safe from fire, earthquake, and off-site.
To be safest, a MASTER LIST of where important records are located always needs to be available. This should include:
All members of the family need each of the above completed, listed, and available. Keep the records close and keep copies in a second location in case of damage or loss.
- Statement of Wishes
- The Wills
- The Trusts
- Financial Power of Attorneys
- Durable Health Care Power of Attorneys
- Health Care Directives
- The Titles to Vehicles
- The Deeds
- The Escrow Papers
- Tax Records
- Medical History
- Medicines, Instructions, and Doctors
- Birth Certificates, Drivers Licenses, Passports
- School Records, Diplomas
- Social Security Cards, Payments, Benefits
- Military Records, Discharges, Veterans Benefits
- Computer Records, Programs, and Passwords
- Loans and Payment History
- Insurance Policies and Records
- Collectables and Documentation
- Retirement History, Records, Benefits, and Accounts
- CDs, Bonds, Stock, Mutual Funds
- Bank Accounts, Credit Unions
- Phone List, Email List, and Addresses
- Lists of distant family, old friends
- Photos, Recording, Videos
- The location of the electric, water, and gas shutoffs
- This Master List
Trust records during Health Emergency...
The doctors and nurses can go to jail and be fined under the new government rules. They cannot legally release information or allow you to make decisions about health care without the Durable Health Care Power of Attorneys and Health Care Directives.
It is VERY IMPORTANT to sign the forms on ALL MEMBERS OF THE FAMILY. Typically, a wife has powers regarding her husband and kids, while the husband has powers regarding his wife (and also the kids). It's also reasonable to have best friends, parents, and adult siblings put these safeguards in place. Healthy people and young adults tend to ignore these possibilities. Accidents and emergencies are almost always unexpected. Traveling locally (as well as farther) can make it even more difficult. Do the forms now! It's important to do these BEFORE any emergency. It's important to JUST DO IT!
Trust records during attack...
If you anticipate a lawsuit or other attack on the estate... Records of the trust can be transferred and safeguarded in another location very quickly. A local trustee can assign and transfer all records to a remote (or foreign) trustee very easily. A transfer removes the (former) local trustee from record management, could maintain privacy, could make it much more difficult and more expensive to attack the trust, and could thereby avoid damage to the beneficiaries.