If you are appointed the trustee of a revocable trust, you are responsible for administering the trust when the grantor dies. First you must review the trust provisions to determine the identity of the trust beneficiaries and the assets left to them. Depending on the size of the trust, you can make a partial asset distribution to the beneficiaries during the trust's administration or give them a lump sum distribution when the trust administration is completed. You must provide a W-9 form to a beneficiary who requests a copy or risk incurring penalties from the Internal Revenue Service.
Go to the IRS website, find the W-9 form and complete it online, or download the form to fill in by hand. Start at the top of the form by entering the name of the trust exactly as it is stated on the trust’s income tax return. Do not enter the trust’s name on the “Business name/disregarded entity name if different from above” line. On the next line down, “Check appropriate box for federal tax classification,” check the box beside "Trust/estate." Enter the trust’s street address, city, state and zip code on the appropriate lines. You have the option of entering the requestor’s name and address in the box provided.Step 2
Move down to Part I, Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN). Enter the TIN the IRS assigned to the trust in the employer identification number box. If the trust does not have a TIN, write “Applied for” in the space for the TIN. You must get a TIN to avoid the trust being subject to backup withholding. Alternatively, you can immediately receive a trust TIN by completing IRS Form SS-4 online at the IRS website. The IRS will immediately provide a TIN online once the form is completed.Step 3
Read all three statements contained in Section II, Certification, as they apply to the trust. If the IRS has sent you written notification that the trust is subject to backup withholding, cross through sentence number 2. Complete the form by signing your name as the trustee and dating the form. For example, you could sign the W-9 as “John Doe, Trustee of the Jane Doe Irrevocable Trust dated Jan. 1, 2010." Provide the beneficiaries with a copy of the W-9 as needed.
- Keep a copy of every W-9 form you provide to each beneficiary and note the date the form was provided.
- You do not submit the completed W-9 to the IRS but provide it to the beneficiaries as requested.
Based in St. Petersburg, Fla., Karen Rogers covers the financial markets for several online publications. She received a bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of South Florida.