My parents established a revocable living trust many years ago. Dad died 12 years ago. Mom died 3 weeks ago. One of the assets in the trust is a mutual fund account with Invesco. They are requiring me to setup a trust for a trust-to-trust transfer because they can't (won't?) liquidate the account directly to me since the primary trustees are deceased. To create the trust I would need an TIN so I went to irs.gov but when I get to https://sa.www4.irs.gov/modiein/individual/trust-type.jsp I have no idea which kind of trust to establish and what the ramifications are for each. I am going to call them back but since they might say "We can't advise you on that because it depends on what you want to do, blah blah blah." I am asking here.


1 Answer 1


Typically, a revocable trust becomes irrevocable by operation of law upon the death of the last person establishing it and at that point you apply for a new EIN for that trust.

If the company is giving you are hard time, simply give the existing trust a new name and carry out its provisions pertaining to after death management of the assets.

For example, maybe it was originally called the MOM AND DAD REVOCABLE LIVING TRUST and you might now call it the MOM AND DAD IRREVOCABLE TRUST (since it can't be revoked now that they are dead), apply for the EIN on the online form SS-4 with the IRS, and give the new name and EIN to the investment company. If they need an establishment date, you could either say "under agreement dated" (u/a/d) the date of the signature of the revocable trust, or say "formed" and use the date of your mother's death when the revocable trust became irrevocable by operation of law

On the other hand, the investment company should really let the successor trustee access the trust upon presentation of the trust agreement showing the name of the successor trustee, without having to do a true trustee to trustee transfer, although they would still need a new EIN.

  • Awesome, thanks! Follow up, why does that still require a new EIN? Don't feel they are giving me a hard time (yet). They did say that I needed to fill out their form including the section for trust to trust transfer but they would do the transfer and then immediately liquidate. They made no mention of me having to create a whole trust document so that is good. Seems silly but manageable. Commented Jun 28, 2019 at 17:29
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    @AndrewSteitz Before death, a revocable trust is a "grantor trust" which means that it doesn't exist for income tax purposes and uses the social security number of the person who creates it. When somebody dies, it becomes a distinct entity from its creator for income tax purposes.
    – ohwilleke
    Commented Jun 28, 2019 at 18:55
  • Oh goody, so I get to file extra tax paper work this year. Shoot me now! LOL.. Thanks again! Commented Jun 28, 2019 at 19:33
  • @AndrewSteitz This is true in almost all cases when someone dies. If they hadn't had a trust you would have had to file an estate income tax return. Also, don't forget that the final tax return of the decedent also needs to be filed, and in the unlikely event that mom had more than $11 million or so at death, you also need to file Form 706 (the estate tax return not to be confused with the estate income tax return) within nine months of date of death.
    – ohwilleke
    Commented Jun 28, 2019 at 20:51

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