The Arizona legislature recently amended the law on Certification of Trusts (A.R.S. 14-11013). Two things to know:
1. When a Trustee provides a Certification of Trust to a financial institution, it may not require the Trustee to provide copies of excerpts from the trust document that contain dispositive provisions (i.e., who gets what) or successor Trustee names (i.e., who will manage the trust upon death of Trustor) unless the financial institution also provides a verified statement that states a reasonable basis for the request.
2. A financial institution is now liable for damages, costs, expenses, and attorney fees if a court determines that it did not act in good faith or did not comply with the need for a verified statement in demanding a copy of the trust document.
In summary, the law change reinforces the legislature's intent to simplify the process of doing business with a trust. When buying or selling property using a trust, or opening or re-titling an account into a trust, a Trustee should only have to provide a copy of the Certification of Trust and not the entire document. Financial institutions that still request a copy of the entire trust document are acting unreasonably and, in some cases, against the law.
See Arizona SB 1204, signed March 29, 2018 by Governor Ducey
Thomas J. Bouman