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I am acting for a living trust that makes ongoing disbursements to the beneficiaries of the trust. Do the identification and verification obligations apply to these beneficiaries?

The rule requires that you make reasonable efforts to obtain, and if obtained, record with the applicable date, the names and addresses of all trustees and all known beneficiaries and settlors of the trust as well as information establishing the ownership, control and structure of the trust. If a beneficiary is directing you or your client in relation to the disbursement of funds from the trust, you will also have to verify the beneficiary’s identity. You should also be aware that the trust account rules prohibit you from holding funds in your trust account unless they are directly related to the provision of legal services. In this example, where you are making ongoing disbursements to the beneficiaries, you may not hold the funds in your trust account unless you are providing legal services related to the disbursements.