The following question was sent to Crispy, who also copied me. I am posting the question & replies here so all can benefit. We can continue this conversation here.
I am now the acting treasure of our local club in Memphis TN. Problem is our checking account has an old members social security number on it. I assume I need to get a tax ID and set something up more official. I want to make it so the next treasurer will be easily able to take over the duties. Near as I can research we are currently an unincorporated association. At this time do I need to consider setting up a trust to handle the finances of the club? Club Officers would be the trustees, since as near as I can tell unincorporated associations cant own property (like bank accounts).
Thanks for any advice you can provide
I am currently treasurer of my club, and I maintain the checking account under my name/social security. We currently have no officers, and therefore can not incorporate. I am cc’ing two much more knowledgeable people on this issue, but my thinking is that the old checking account will need to be cashed out, and if the club members agree, either the club needs to incorporate, or will need to continue to start anew with each succeeding treasurer
my Addtional perspective:
A few thoughts.
First - check with your bank to see what is required for an account for an organization IN YOUR STATE. My guess it that they will need some type of taxpayer ID. Frankly, I would not want to use this under my personal account and social security number because that could make me a liable person (vs. the club). I don't know if this would mean that my personal assets would be at risk if something happened, but I would NOT want to take that chance.
Second - I don't know much about trusts - but that just doesn't have the right feel to it. Again - you need to check your local laws and with your financial institution.
If you have a club taxpayer ID and the account is for the organizaiton - changing the names of those who can write checks & deposit money is usually a pretty simple form (need to keep the mailing address up to date, of course). A taxpayer ID should take the place of a SS# in bank documents for an organization.
Again - I can't stress strongly enough that you need to determine what is right for YOUR STATE. There were some reasons we hired a lawyer to help with ours that go beyond simple paperwork (a very large competition + party, ambiguity in state laws, liability concerns, etc.). Your bank may be able to provide you with enough of the basics depending upon your state.