Estate Planning 101

How to Transfer Certificates of Deposit (CDs) into a Trust

Discover the essentials of transferring Certificates of Deposit (CDs) into a trust through our detailed blog post. Learn about the benefits and processes involved to secure your financial assets for the future.
February 4, 2024

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Certificates of Deposit (CDs) are commonly used as low-risk, interest-earning investments. However, many people don't realize they can transfer these assets into a trust for better management and to ensure they are distributed according to their wishes upon their death. This blog post will guide you through the process of transferring your CDs into a trust.

Understanding Trusts

A trust is a legal arrangement that allows a third party, or trustee, to hold and manage assets on behalf of the trust's beneficiaries. Trusts can be a vital part of your estate planning, providing a degree of control over your assets, potential tax benefits, and protection from creditors.

Reasons to Transfer CDs into a Trust

Transferring CDs into a trust can offer several advantages. Not only can it provide a greater level of control over the distribution of your assets, but it can also potentially provide a level of protection against estate taxes and probate proceedings. Moreover, it can provide a measure of protection against creditors and legal actions.

How to Set Up a Trust for CDs

  1. Choose the type of trust: Depending on your specific needs and circumstances, you may opt for a revocable (can be changed or dissolved at any time by the grantor) or an irrevocable trust (cannot be changed or dissolved without the permission of the grantor and beneficiary).
  2. Select a trustee: This is the person or entity responsible for managing the trust and its assets.
  3. Create the trust document: This includes all the terms of the trust, including the names of the beneficiaries and the instructions for asset distribution.
  4. Fund the trust: This involves transferring assets, in this case, the CDs, into the trust.

Process of Transferring CDs into a Trust

  1. Contact the issuing bank: The first step is to contact the bank or financial institution that issued the CDs. They will provide you with the necessary paperwork to change the ownership of the CDs.
  2. Complete the paperwork: Fill out the forms provided by the bank, making sure to correctly write the name of the trust and the trustee.
  3. Submit the paperwork: Return the completed forms to the bank. They will process the forms and transfer the CDs into the trust.
  4. Update your records: Keep a copy of the completed paperwork for your records and for tax purposes.

Getting Professional Help

Transferring CDs into a trust may involve complex legal and financial procedures. Therefore, it's advisable to seek the help of a qualified attorney or financial advisor. They can provide valuable guidance and help you understand the potential tax implications and legal requirements.


In conclusion, transferring CDs into a trust can be a strategic move for your estate planning. While it may seem complicated, with careful planning and professional help, you can successfully manage your assets and protect your financial legacy.