Ashburn, VA asked in Estate Planning and Family Law for Delaware

Q: Do I need someone's social security number to name them as a beneficiary of a trust?

An untrustworthy family member wants to name our two teenaged children as beneficiaries of her assets, mostly a brokerage account, insurance plans, and company 401(K). We are not comfortable providing her with the children's Social Security numbers under any circumstances. I am hoping we can avoid that. We live in Delaware but she lives in Missouri.

Related Topics:
1 Lawyer Answer
T. Augustus Claus
T. Augustus Claus pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›

A: Typically, naming someone as a beneficiary in a trust doesn't necessitate sharing their Social Security number (SSN). However, exceptions exist, and requirements can vary by state and financial institution. To sidestep providing children's SSNs, consider alternatives like obtaining a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) through the IRS, which serves tax purposes and may be accepted by financial entities. Alternatively, providing the child's legal name and date of birth is generally sufficient for trust identification. Some financial institutions may also accept alternative forms of ID, such as a passport or driver's license. In Delaware, trusts can be created without mandating beneficiaries to provide SSNs, but individual financial institutions may have specific ID policies.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.