How to Put an Annuity in a Trust


Titling an annuity in the name of a trust is a relatively simple process. In some cases, this may not be necessary because money inside annuities, like trusts, is inherently exempt from probate. However, a trust can specify conditions for payout to the beneficiary that an annuity cannot in some cases, depending upon the type of trust that is used and its purpose.

  • Notify your annuity carrier that you wish to retitle your contract in the name of your trust. They will either require you to retitle your current contract, or more likely assign you a new contract number once your contract is retitled.

  • Complete the form supplied by your carrier to retitle your contract. You may need to complete a whole new application, and you will have to furnish your carrier with at least a copy of the signature and title pages of the trust, if not the whole trust.

  • Submit the forms to the carrier and keep a copy for yourself. Do NOT send the original copy of your trust to them. Give them at least a week to process the transfer or retitling.

  • Check your next statement to make sure that it lists the name of the trust correctly. Make sure that the date of the trust on your statement is correct, and that the correct beneficiaries have been specified. The beneficiaries of the contract must also be the beneficiaries of the trust.

  • Make sure that the payout options of the annuity allow the contract to pay out income in the manner specified by the trust. If the trust calls for immediate liquidation of the contract for dispersal to the beneficiary, then the contract may charge a stiff withdrawal penalty for early liquidation if it has not matured.

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