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Do I Have to Record a Trust?


I had my lawyer make a trust for me. Does that trust need to be recorded with the city register or with the county clerk or a similar government entity?


In New York, there is no requirement to record a trust. Part of the idea of a trust is to maintain privacy. When you are transferring a property to a trust, you are allowed to not disclose ownership of the property to the public.

Some information about the trust does exist in the public record. For example, when real estate is transferred to a trust, there will be a record with the county recorder as to who the previous owner of the real property was and the name of the trust that the property was transferred to. So a member of the public may see that the property was transferred to let’s say “The 202 McDonald Street Trust,” but the public will not be able to see the name of the company or individual who benefits from the trust or manages it.

There is a recent law that requires title companies to disclose true owners of NYC properties worth more than $1 million to the federal government. But that information disclosed to the federal government is confidential and not available to the public.

Although the trust will not be a matter of public record, copies of the trust may float around in private, such as with beneficiaries of the trust if that makes sense, with the company providing mortgage for the property or with the title insurance company.

To sum up, trusts in New York do not have to be recorded and can be kept private.


Call the Law Offices of Albert Goodwin at (212) 233-1233, New York estate, guardianship, wills, trust, medicaid and probate lawyer, and make an appointment to discuss your trust issue.