Revocable and Irrevocable Trust Accounts
FDIC deposit insurance covers trust accounts under two separate ownership categories: Revocable Trust and Irrevocable Trust.
A revocable trust account is a deposit account owned by one or more people that designates one or more beneficiaries who will receive the deposits upon the death of the owner(s).
A revocable trust can be revoked, terminated or changed at any time, at the discretion of the owner(s). The term "owner" means the grantor, settlor, or trustor of the revocable trust.
Revocable trusts can be formal or informal.
An irrevocable trust account is a deposit account titled in the name of an irrevocable trust, for which the owner (grantor/settlor/trustor) contributes deposits or other property to the trust, but gives up all power to cancel or change the trust.
Irrevocable trusts are also established following the death of an owner of a revocable trust, or by statute or judicial order.
When a revocable trust has more than one owner, each owner's coverage is calculated separately.
Which type of trust account do you want to know about?
Does the trust meet ALL 3 of these criteria?
The account title at the bank indicates that the account is a trust using language such as:
Formal Revocable Trusts use such terms as:
- Living trust
- Family trust
Informal Revocable Trusts use such terms as:
- Payable on death (POD)
- Totten trust
- As trustee for (ATF)
- In trust for (ITF)
Or similar language, including the word "trust" in the account title.
At the time a bank fails, the beneficiary must be entitled to his or her interest in the revocable trust assets upon the grantor's death. The FDIC recognizes life estate and remainder beneficiaries, but not contingent beneficiaries.
The beneficiaries are living individuals and/or an IRS-qualifying charity or nonprofit organization.
How many beneficiaries does the trust/account owner designate?
When a revocable trust owner designates five or fewer beneficiaries, the owner's trust deposits are insured up to $250,000 for each unique beneficiary.
This rule applies to the combined interests of all beneficiaries the owner has designated in all formal and informal revocable trust accounts at the same bank. When there are five or fewer beneficiaries, maximum deposit insurance coverage for each trust owner is determined by multiplying $250,000 times the number of unique beneficiaries, regardless of the dollar amount or percentage allotted to each unique beneficiary.
|Maximum insurance coverage for a trust owner when there are five or fewer unique beneficiaries|
|Number of Unique Beneficiaries||Maximum Deposit Insurance Coverage|
Multiple POD (payable upon death) accounts for one owner where there are five or fewer unique beneficiaries.
Multiple types of revocable trust accounts with five or fewer unique beneficiaries.
John has three informal trust/POD accounts at the same insured bank. For each of these accounts, John has designated the same two unique beneficiaries, Jack and Janet.
Maximum insurance coverage for these accounts = $250,000 X 2 beneficiaries = $500,000
John is fully insured.
POD accounts for one owner when there are five or fewer unique beneficiaries
|Account Title||Owner||Beneficiaries||Deposit Type||Account Balance|
|John Jones POD||John||Jack, Janet||MMDA||$10,000|
|John Jones POD||John||Jack, Janet||Savings||$20,000|
|John Jones POD||John||Jack, Janet||CD||$470,000|
When a revocable trust owner designates five or fewer beneficiaries, the owner's share of each trust account is added together and the owner receives up to $250,000 in insurance coverage for each unique beneficiary. Formal and informal revocable trust accounts held by the same owner(s) are added together prior to determining coverage.
Lisa is the single owner of one informal trust/POD account with a balance of $450,000. She also co-owns a formal living trust account with her husband, Paul, with a balance of $700,000.
- Paul's share: $350,000 (50% of Account 1)
- Lisa's share: $800,000 (50% of Account 1 and 100% of Account 2)
Lisa owns 50% of the living trust deposit and 100% of the POD deposit, totaling $800,000. She has three unique beneficiaries between the two trust accounts.
Maximum insurance coverage of Lisa's interests = $250,000 x 3 beneficiaries = $750,000
$50,000 is left uninsured.
Paul owns 50% of the living trust, totaling $350,000. He has two unique beneficiaries designated in the trust.
Maximum insurance coverage of Paul's interests = $250,000 x 2 beneficiaries = $500,000
Paul's interests are fully insured.
Multiple types of revocable trust accounts with five or fewer unique beneficiaries
|Account Number||Account Title||Beneficiaries||Account Balance|
|1||Paul & Lisa Li Living Trust, John and Sharon Li (Beneficiaries)||John, Sharon||$700,000|
|2||Lisa Li POD, Sharon and Bill Li (Beneficiaries)||Sharon, Bill||$450,000|
|Owners||Beneficiaries||Owner's Share||Amount Insured||Amount Uninsured|
|Lisa||John, Sharon, Bill||$800,000||$750,000||$50,000|
If you have any questions regarding deposit insurance coverage for your revocable trust accounts with five or fewer beneficiaries, please call the FDIC at 1-877-ASK-FDIC (1-877-275-3342).
Do all beneficiaries have an equal interest in the trust?
Equal Beneficial Interests
When all the beneficiaries are assigned equal amounts in the trust, the trust owner receives insurance coverage up to $250,000 for each unique beneficiary.
Maximum insurance coverage for each revocable trust owner when there are six or more unique beneficiaries with equal beneficial interests
|Number of Unique Beneficiaries||Maximum Deposit Insurance Coverage|
|6 Beneficiaries with Equal Interests||$1,500,000|
|7 Beneficiaries with Equal Interests||$1,750,000|
|8 Beneficiaries with Equal Interests||$2,000,000|
|9 Beneficiaries with Equal Interests||$2,250,000|
|10+ Beneficiaries with Equal Interests||add up to $250,000 for each additional unique beneficiary|
Unequal Beneficial Interests
When beneficiaries do not have equal interests, the owner's revocable trust deposits are insured for the greater of either:
- The sum of each beneficiary's actual interests up to $250,000 for each unique beneficiary, OR
- A minimum coverage amount of $1,250,000.
Determining insurance coverage can be complex when a revocable trust has six or more unique beneficiaries whose interests are unequal. If you have one or more revocable trust accounts with six or more beneficiaries with unequal interests, please contact the FDIC with any questions at 1-877-ASK-FDIC (1-877-275-3342).
Note on formal revocable trust accounts:
An owner who designates a beneficiary as having a life estate interest in a formal revocable trust is entitled to insurance coverage up to $250,000 for that beneficiary. A life estate beneficiary is a beneficiary who has the right to receive income from the trust or to use trust deposits assets during the beneficiary's lifetime, where other beneficiaries receive the remaining trust deposits assets after the life estate beneficiary dies. Contingent or secondary beneficiaries, however, are not included in the calculation.
The deposit may not be insured as a revocable trust account, but may be insured under the single ownership category.
If you have questions, please contact the FDIC at 1-877-ASK-FDIC (1-877-275-3342).
An irrevocable trust can be established three ways:
- By judicial order
- By statute, or
- By death of the owner of a revocable trust
Note: If the owner of a revocable trust dies, the trust becomes irrevocable but may still be insured as a revocable trust.
To be eligible for coverage under FDIC deposit insurance, an irrevocable trust should meet the following 4 criteria:
Valid under state law
The insured bank's deposit account records disclose the existence of the trust relationship;
The beneficiaries and their interests in the trust are identifiable from the bank's deposit account records or from the trustee's records; and
Each beneficiary's interest is a non-contingent interest, meaning there are no conditions that the beneficiary would need to meet to receive their allocation under the terms of the trust upon the death of the grantor(s).
If ALL of these four criteria are met, each beneficiary's non-contingent interest is insured up to $250,000. There is separate deposit insurance coverage for contingent interests and grantor retained interests.
It is uncommon for an irrevocable trust to meet these four criteria because most beneficiaries have contingent interests, which is why deposit insurance for most irrevocable trusts is up to only $250,000 at each FDIC-insured bank.
For details, please call 1-877-ASK-FDIC (1-877-275-3342).
To determine your deposit insurance coverage or ask any other specific deposit insurance questions, call 1-877-ASK-FDIC (1-877-275-3342).