Question: You created a Confidential Trust for me to own my Arizona LLC and keep my name off the public records of the Arizona Corporation Commission. Recently I signed a new trust that is for estate planning. My new trust includes provisions for the administration of my assets after my death. How does my new trust become the owner of the LLC currently owned by my Confidential Trust?
Answer: You now have two trusts, each with their own names and creation dates. The problem is that the Confidential Trust owns the LLC, but the Estate Planning Trust should own it. Instead of creating an entirely new estate planning trust you should have kept the same trust name, trustees and trust creation date and just amended and restated the entire trust agreement to contain the language needed for your estate plan. In other words, you should have converted the Confidential Trust to your estate planning trust with the end result that you would have one trust and it would be the owner of the LLC.
Going forward your choices are:
1. Transfer ownership of the LLC from the Confidential Trust to the estate planning trust and allow the Confidential Trust to die. However, if the new estate planning trust has your name in it and you want to continue to keep your name off of the Arizona Corporation Commission’s public records then retain ownership of the LLC in the Confidential Trust and follow the next option. We charge $545 to do this. It includes preparing an Assignment of Membership Interest Agreement, Amendment to the Articles of Organization, resolutions of the member and a new membership certificate.
2. Modify the Confidential Trust to provide that the beneficiary is the trustee(s) of the new estate planning trust.
My recommendation is to do option 1 now because option 2 postpones the need to do option 1 until the creator(s) of the Confidential Trust is/are deceased.
To learn more about how a Confidential Trust can keep your name off the Arizona Corporation Commission’s public records read my article called “How to Form an Arizona LLC without Disclosing Its Ultimate Owner(s).”