How to Obtain a Tax ID Number for a Living Trust

By Dennis Masino

A living trust is a popular estate planning tool. The person who creates the trust, the "grantor," transfers ownership of assets to the trust. The grantor retains the power to revoke the trust during his lifetime and is usually named as the trustee. As trustee, the grantor retains control over the assets in the trust. Upon his death, the assets are distributed to the beneficiaries named in the trust. Living trusts usually do not need a taxpayer identification number because trust income is reported on the grantor’s individual federal income tax return. However, a taxpayer identification number, also called an employer identification number, may be needed under certain circumstances.

Step 1

Determine if a taxpayer identification number is required. Generally, a federal taxpayer identification number is not required. However, in a few specific circumstances, it might be -- for example, if you're incapacitated or the government requires it in order for you to qualify for certain benefits. If you're in doubt about whether you need one, consult a legal professional.

Step 2

Locate the Employer Identification Number application on the Internal Revenue Service website by clicking the "Businesses" tab at the top of the page. Then select the "Small Business/Self-Employed" tab. Select "Employer ID Numbers," and then select "Apply for an EIN Online." On the next page, select "Apply Online Now" to access the application. The online application is only available Monday through Friday, from 6:00 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. Eastern time, and Saturday, from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Eastern time.

Protect your loved ones. Start My Estate Plan

Step 3

Begin by identifying the legal structure as a trust by clicking on the button next to the word "trust." Click on the "Trust (all others)" option when asked to identify the type of trust. Click "Continue" to confirm your selection. Complete the balance of the application by providing the name and address of the trustee, as well as all other information requested, including the date the trust was funded.

Step 4

Confirm the method by which you wish to receive the taxpayer identification number. The identification number will be sent to the applicant by regular mail or online, depending on the method you choose at the end of the online application. Online numbers are issued in a matter of minutes.

Protect your loved ones. Start My Estate Plan
How to Set Up a Tax ID Number for a Trust Account

References

Related articles

How to Type the Registered Trademark Symbol

A person, business or other entity can register a trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for legal protection purposes. A trademark is usually a distinct word, phrase or symbol that is associated by the public with a specific product, service, business or organization. Once a trademark is registered, the registered trademark symbol — a small circle with the letter "R" inside — is commonly put with the trademark each time it's used. You can type a registered trademark symbol on your Windows or Macintosh-based computer by using keyboard codes.

How to Complete an SS-4 for an LLC

An Employer Identification Number, or EIN, is a nine-digit identification number assigned by the IRS to business entities, trusts, estates and certain individuals, and used to identify tax accounts. A Limited Liability Company, or LLC, may apply for an EIN by mail, telephone or online. Applying by mail means waiting for for the EIN four to six weeks; applying by fax takes one to two weeks; applying by telephone leaves the LLC without a copy of the application for its records; applying online is simple and convenient, and provides an LLC with a copy of its application for its records.

How to Transfer a Vanguard Account to a Living Trust

Transferring property to a living trust is an important step in setting up the trust. Investment accounts, such as those offered by Vanguard, allow an investor to list a beneficiary who will receive the proceeds of the account upon the account holder’s death. Problems arise, however, if the beneficiary dies before the account holder. It is for this reason that transferring these types of accounts to your trust is prudent financial planning.

LegalZoom. Legal help is here. Start Here. Wills. Trusts. Attorney help.

Related articles

How to Fill Out an SS-4 for a Special Needs Trust

A special needs trust is used to provide for the needs of an individual with a disability. It ensures that government ...

How to Complete an SS4 for a Testamentary Trust

If you’re the trustee of a testamentary trust – meaning you are responsible for a trust that a decedent created through ...

How to Fill in Your Electronic Trademark Application

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) accepts electronic trademark registration applications online for ...

How to Get an EIN for a Revocable Trust

A revocable trust is a legal device that allows a grantor to donate property to a group of beneficiaries, but to have ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED