If transferring a grant deed into a trust, is the combined use of a person’s middle initial and their full name a legal concern?

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If transferring a grant deed into a trust, is the combined use of a person’s middle initial and their full name a legal concern?

The deed currently reads: “Marcy R. X, a single woman” as grantor (this also represents her legal signature on driver’s license). Can the grantee be “Marcy R. X, trustee of the Marcy Rene XTrust”? Or should the name of the trust be changed to reflect the middle initial as well? Should the settlor and trustee name be an exact match? Can this combined use of the initial/full name invalidate the grant deed ?

Asked on January 7, 2011 under Estate Planning, California

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Generally speaking, being consistent in all matters is preferable and creates less confusion down the line.  This is true in every aspect of your life including signing your name.   The law, however, allows a party to clear up any inconsistencies and would prefer not to invalidate anything or deny any party rights because of it.  That is often why people prepare affidavits to explain to the court and the judge presiding any discrepancies that occur in legal proceedings.  Now, I think that you should discuss this issue with an estate planning attorney who can best advise you on the matter. Granting the land to the trustee may not be necessary but only to the trust (and I think that it may be a problem if you are trying to limit liability and estate taxes).  Good luck.


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