Living, Grantor & Family Trust Accounts: Common Problems in Account Opening & Lending

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Do you know that a trust is a separate legal entity from the grantor and trustee? Many individuals treat trust property like their own property – which is not correct. The trust is a separate legal entity, even if it uses the grantor’s Social Security number. Opening a deposit account for, or lending to, a trust is completely different from providing those services to an individual. A loan may not be valid against the trust, and your institution could be held liable for the funds in the account if a mistake is made. 

This webinar will explain the proper documentation and information that must be obtained before opening accounts for trusts, including determining who is authorized to transact business. It will also clarify the necessary loan documents you must obtain and everything else that must be understood before lending to trusts, including determining whether the trust has the power to borrow money and/or pledge trust assets.  


  • Differences between living trusts, grantor trusts, family trusts, revocable trusts, testamentary trusts, and business trusts
  • Who are the parties in a trust and what actions are they authorized to take?
  • Should you require the entire trust agreement or only a certification of trust?
  • If the trust agreement authorizes the trust to borrow money, can the trust guarantee a beneficiary’s loan?
  • If there are multiple trustees, must all trustees sign, or can only one trustee sign on behalf of the trust?
  • When can an individual’s Social Security number be used for the trust?


  • Checklist for opening a deposit account for a trust
  • Checklist for lending to a trust
  • Employee training log
  • NEW – Interactive quiz

This informative session will be useful to both deposit and loan operations, including new accounts personnel, loan documentation staff, loan officers, tellers, attorneys, compliance personnel, auditors, and managers.

ABOUT THE PRESENTER – Elizabeth Fast, JD, CPA, Spencer Fane LLP
Elizabeth Fast is a partner with Spencer Fane LLP where she specializes in the representation of financial institutions. Elizabeth is the head of the firm’s training division. She received her law degree from the University of Kansas and her undergraduate degree from Pittsburg State University. In addition, she has a Master of Business Administration degree and she is a Certified Public Accountant. Before joining Spencer Fane, she was General Counsel, Senior Vice President, and Corporate Secretary of a $9 billion bank with more than 130 branches, where she managed all legal, regulatory, and compliance functions. She is a member of the Missouri State Banking Board by appointment of the Governor. 

Originally recorded on June 25, 2019.

Recorded webinar is available until December 31, 2019.

Free Digital Copy included with purchase to download and view beyond link expiration date.

Price includes sales tax.