A ‘trust’ is an entity that holds assets for the benefit of a certain person or other entity. The small trust that we can create for you consists of at least one ‘trustee’ (your choice) who has responsibility for the assets (in this case, one or two cars) and a ‘beneficiary’ (there can be more than one beneficiary) for whose benefit the trust was created, usually the man or woman who uses the car(s). There are many different types of trusts but for our purposes the foregoing definition is sufficient.
The benefit of using this trust is that it is completely private, i.e., it doesn’t have to be registered with the state, and it removes ownership of the automobile from any single individual. It can be ‘sited’ at any address you’d like*.
In addition to the Declaration of Trust, the beneficiary receives a Certificate for 100 Trust Units, similar to shares of stock for a corporation. You also get a “Permission to Use” document which is basically a letter from the trustee stating that the named beneficiary, and anyone else s/he may appoint, has permission to use the car.
Having your automobile in a trust may have the added benefit of protecting you from lawsuits and judgements particularly if they result from non-moving violations, like parking tickets.
Utilizing a trust for conveyance registration purposes consists of:
1) finding a trustee (someone you trust);
2) establishing an address for the trust in the state of choice*;
3) having the trust created; and then
3) having the trustee title and register the conveyance in the name of the trust and in the state that the trust is sited in (it’s address).
* Generally, the trustee’s address is used for convenience.
On Choosing a Name: A Heads-Up – If the word ‘Trust’ appears in the name, some states require additional paperwork to be filed. There is also a tendency to assume it is registered with the IRS. A more business-like name (e.g., ‘Enterprises’, ‘Associates’, etc.) may smooth the registration process.
About the Trustee: Obviously, someone you trust. His or her personal assets do not in any way become involved in the trust. S/He will register the car and sign the Permission to Use document which is carried in the car at all times. The trustee will need to show identification when registering and, for the trustee’s protection, have him/her write “by agent” after their signature when signing the registration form. Also, caution your trustee to make sure the registrar puts the name of the trust organization as the owner, not the trustee’s name as happened to us years ago when we first did this for ourselves.
Our simple automobile trust is $175 for one car. For a second car, add an additional $50 to cover the additional paperwork ($225).
To have your trust created, please proceed to the print ‘n mail Order form if you are paying by Money Order.
Or, to pay using Paypal fill out the following Application. After submitting your Application, you will automatically be directed to the payment page.