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How To Set and Fix Your Firm's Trust Payee
How To Set and Fix Your Firm's Trust Payee

Assigning the payee for trust payment checks; troubleshooting trust payment errors

Doug Schmierer avatar
Written by Doug Schmierer
Updated over a week ago

By default, the payee for all trust payments made in LeanLaw will be your firm's name. If you haven't designated another vendor as the payee, LeanLaw will automatically attempt to create your firm as a vendor in QuickBooks to be this payee whenever you record a trust payment in LeanLaw.

This article will help you troubleshoot errors encountered when making trust payments and generally help you assign a trust payee.

How to assign a trust payee

1. Open Firm Settings

In the upper right corner, click on the gear โš™๏ธ icon to reach your Firm Settings.

2. Open Trust Accounting settings

In your Firm Settings, click Trust Accounting in the menu on the left to open your Trust Accounting settings page.

3. (Optional) Click Select Vendor

If you already have a vendor in your firm's name, or if you wish to make trust payments out to a name other than your firm, click the Select Vendor dropdown to find your desired vendor in the list.

4. (Optional) Click Create Vendor

Alternatively, if you wish to let LeanLaw create a vendor in QuickBooks with your firm's name and assign it as the trust payee, you can simply click the Create Vendor button.

A screenshot showing the location of the Create Vendor button.

How to fix the "failed to create trust payee..." error

The error, Failed to create trust payee called <firm name>. Make sure your firm's name isn't shared with another entity in QuickBooks, occurs when you already have a customer or an employee in QuickBooks with your firm's name. QuickBooks doesn't allow a vendor, customer, or employee to share the same name, so you'll need to change one of them. These steps will help you find and rename your existing client or customer in QuickBooks.

1. Locate the customer or employee in QuickBooks

In your QuickBooks account, locate the customer or employee that shares a name with your firm. You can use the search function, or find them directly in their tab.

Customers can be found in the Customers & leads tab of your QuickBooks.

A screenshot of the Customers tab in QuickBooks

Employees can be found in the Payroll tab of your QuickBooks.

A screenshot of the Employees tab in QuickBooks

2. Click edit

Once you open the customer or employee's that possesses your firm name, click Edit. This will allow you to change the customer or employee's display name.

A screenshot of a QuickBooks customer with the Edit button indicated.

3. Edit the Display Name

Edit the Display Name field of this customer or employee to something else. If you're concerned about this name showing up on any official documents later, you can also change the Name to print on checks field back to your firm name when you're done. Click Save when you're done.

A gif showing how to edit the display name of a customer.

4. Assign the trust payee in LeanLaw

Return to LeanLaw and assign a trust payee by following the steps provided above in the section, "How to assign a trust payee."

You now have a vendor created in QuickBooks with your firm's name, and that vendor is marked as the payee for trust payments going forward!

What's next?

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