Can your aircraft be owned by your living trust?

Just as is the case with automobiles, the answer to this question is “Yes it can!

However, unlike an automobile registration where the trust itself is the registered owner, the FAA requires that one or more trustees register the aircraft in their own name with ‘as Trustee‘ appended.

The FAA requires the following when registering an aircraft as trustee of a trust:

  • An affidavit showing that each beneficiary under the trust is either a U.S. Citizen or a resident alien. This includes each person whose security interest in the aircraft is incorporated in the trust. If any beneficiary under the trust is not a U.S. Citizen or a resident alien, the trustee or trustees must provide an affidavit stating the trustee is not aware of any reason, situation, or relationship that would give the non-citizen a share of control greater than 25 percent to influence or limit the exercise of the trustee’s authority.  If I drafted your trust then I will prepare your affidavit for you free of charge.
  • A certified true copy of the complete trust instrument (in Virginia this is known as ‘copy certification’ and may be done by any Notary)
  • A bill of sale signed in ink or containing an acceptable digital signature from the present registered owner to the trustee(s) of the trust in their capacity.  If I drafted your trust then I will also prepare this bill-of-sale for you free of charge.
  • A completed Aircraft Registration Application (AC 8050-1) showing the trustee as applicant and containing an acceptable digital or ink signature of the trustee(s)
  • The $5 registration fee.  Make checks payable to Federal Aviation Administration.

IMPORTANT NOTE:  When transferring ownership into a trust, do not forget to contact your insurance provider.

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