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Financial Planning

Understanding Trust Accounts

Articles by Betterment Editors

By the Editorial Staff
Betterment Resource Center  |  Published: September 1, 2018


Table of Contents

Getting Started

Other Questions


Can Betterment help me create a trust?

No, Betterment does not help in the creation of a new trust. Trusts are legal entities and require the assistance of an estate attorney or financial planner to file paperwork with the proper authorities. Betterment can open a trust account in the name of a trust that you have already established.

What types of trusts does Betterment support?

Betterment supports both revocable and irrevocable trusts that are authorized to invest in securities. In order to open a trust account the trust has to be a U.S. domestic trust, have been previously established, and is in good legal standing.

How do I open a trust account with Betterment?

In order to open a trust account, you must be the trustee of the trust entity. As a trustee, you will first need to sign up for a personal Betterment account. Once done, follow these quick and easy steps to open your trust:

  1. Log into Betterment on a web browser and click “Add New” from the menu.
  2. Choose the “Trust” option and follow the prompts
  3. Fill in the form to create a trust account.
  4. Provide electronic copies of the title page and signature page(s) of your trust agreement for account approval.

Once you have provided your trust documentation, our team will reach out to you after they have reviewed and approved your account. After your account has been approved, you will be able to link your trust’s bank account, add goals, and start investing better.

What documentation does Betterment require to open a trust account?

Betterment does not require a copy of your entire trust agreement. We require electronic copies of the only following pages:

  1. The title page which generally contains the trust’s title, TIN, date of establishment and the state of organization.
  2. The signature page(s), which contain the signatures of all authorized trustees.

Note that Betterment will not accept the following documents in lieu of the original trust agreement:

  • Certificate of Trusts
  • Memorandum of Trusts
  • Affidavit of Trusts

Can I convert my personal account to a trust?

Betterment can assist with an asset transfer between your personal account to your trust account so long as the EIN associated with your trust is identical to the Social Security number of the personal account owner. If you’d like to proceed, please send us an e-mail at trusts@betterment.com.

Is the portfolio different for trust accounts?

No, the portfolio is the same portfolio of ETFs that we offer personal Betterment accounts.

Can I have a personal and trust account?

Yes, you can have both a personal account and multiple trust accounts, all of which can be accessed from a single login.

Can I open an IRA or roll over an IRA into a trust account with Betterment?

No, a trust cannot be the owner of an IRA as IRAs are opened in an individual account. However, you can make your trust a beneficiary of a Betterment IRA. This can be done by selecting “Settings” from the menu and then “Accounts”.

Does Betterment support multiple trust accounts?

Yes, you can add multiple trusts to your Betterment account and access all of them from a single login.

Can multiple trustees access the trust account?

Yes, if there are multiple trustees, each trustee can access the trust account with his or her own login. If you would like to provide access to multiple trustees, please contact us at trusts@betterment.com and we will be happy to assist.

Can the grantor or beneficiary of a trust access the account?

No, at this time we only provide access to the authorized trustees of a trust.

Does Betterment provide tax statements for my trust account?

Yes. Every tax year Betterment will generate and make available to you the required 1099-B and 1099-DIV tax forms for the TIN or SSN of the trust. If you have a personal and trust account, you will receive separate tax forms for each of those accounts. Your personal account may also contain a 1099-R or 5498 form if you have IRAs. Learn more about taxes here.

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