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(Brucedoe:) My late wife had a Trust originated in Virginia in which I am the successor trustee. To take over the trust, I need to fill out a W-9 (among other forms). In part 1, it asks for your TIN (Taxpayer Identification Number) and above the boxes it says "Social Security Number" so I filled in my SS #, but Schwab (that holds the Trust) says I need a different TIN to take over the trust, and it is not my SS # but a special TIN for the Trust.

Based on my own experience, tax advice from Charles Schwab (even their Trusts & Estates division in Orlando, FL) is even worse than over-the-phone answers from the IRS.

You MAY need a new ID no. for the trust. Or, you may not. It depends on the terms of the trust, specifically as to whether it is deemed to be a "grantor trust", i.e., that you are treated as the owner of the assets held in the trust (for income tax purposes, only.) And nobody here can tell you that without reading through the document. If that's the case, and you are the successor trustee, then you should use your Social Security number, as your wife did during her lifetime.

They suggested that I do this through our lawyer. For some reason I am having trouble getting in touch with our lawyer on this.

Our lawyer made the first revision of the Virginia Trust to comply with North Carolina law so he seemed the one to go to.

That's absolutely correct.

I have Googled getting a TIN online, but they talk about getting a SS # which doesn't seem right. Is this something I can do myself (Schwab says it is possible, but they didn't recommend it.)? If my lawyer doesn't respond within a reasonable time (this is the third call), should I try another lawyer? We have used another lawyer who specializes in geriatric law that I could go to, I guess. All this transfer is taking weeks. In the meantime I am frozen out of the Trust. Does anyone know what I should do?

Keep calling the lawyer, and give him a chance to answer and/or call back.

Is the TIN I need an Employer Identification Number?

Yes, IF you need one. Otherwise you use your Social Security Number.
And if Charles Schwab doesn't believe you (and they might not), then your lawyer may have to get in touch with them.

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