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Thomas McJD
Thomas McJD, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 6516
Experience:  Wills, Trusts, Probate & other Estate Matters
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My husband and I had a revocable trust in his name. He died

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My husband and I had a revocable trust in his name. He died July 25 this year. When I tried to deposit his life insurance check in our checking account, they said they could not do it because they needed to set up a trust account with a TIN number. Do I have to set up a trust account? If I do can't I use a social security number instead?

TMcJD :

Hi, I will be happy to assist you, and it is my goal to make you a very satisfied customer! This may take a few minutes, so thanks for your patience.

TMcJD :

Was the insurance check payable to the trust? If so, did the trust leave everything in the trust to the survivor - you? Or did the trust create separate trusts -- like a family/bypass trust and a marital/survivor trust?

Customer:

The check was made out in my name -------- ------, grantor/trustee of the ------ ----- ------- Trust

TMcJD :

What about my other question: "did the trust leave everything in the trust to the survivor - you? Or did the trust create separate trusts -- like a family/bypass trust and a marital/survivor trust?"

TMcJD :

Were you both grantors to this trust or was only he a grantor? Do you have a separate revocable trust in your name?

Customer:

Everything was left to me as the survivor. I do not have a separate revocable trust in my name. My husband created the trust so I assume he would be the grantor.

TMcJD :

Yes, he would be the grantor. But, since everything was left to you, these types of trusts are sometimes left revocable at the discretion of the survivor (amendable, etc.) does the trust contain language that says it is still revocable by you?

Customer:

CORRECTION: the trust says "This trust shall become irrevocable upon my death." Under article six Dispositon of Poperty at My death "if my wife survives me, the Trustees shall divide and allocate all of the remaining Trust Property into two separate trusts known as the WIFE'S TRUST and the FAMILY TRUST."

TMcJD :

Okay. Then unfortunately since the check is made out to the trust, it will be necessary to get a federal employer identification number (EIN) (and also referred to as a taxpayer identification number -- TIN) to deposit the check. You can do that here: http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Small-Businesses-&-Self-Employed/Apply-for-an-Employer-Identification-Number-%28EIN%29-Online

TMcJD :

The reason you will need to do that is because the trust is now irrevocable and so for tax purposes it's treated like a different person -- not you and not your husband. So it needs its own tax number. The EIN/TIN is essentially the trusts social security number.

Customer:

Thank you for your help.

TMcJD :

You are very welcome. Sorry that you have to go through the trouble to get a tax number, but it's pretty straight forward and you can get it done within about 30 minutes. Your husband will still be the "responsible party" when you're entering information, but then you'll enter yourself as the trustee (if the trust names you as trustee). You'll be applying for a tax number for an irrevocable trust when you're clicking on the appropriate options.

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