Establishing an IOLTA Account

If you handle client funds that are nominal or short term, you must deposit them in an IOLTA account. If you do not have an IOLTA account, follow these steps to establish one:

  1. Identify a financial institution that is eligible to hold IOLTA accounts. To be eligible under Rule 1.15, a financial institution must meet certain IOLTA criteria and agree to notify the ARDC when a client trust account is overdrawn. Read our list of eligible institutions.
  2. Ask the financial institution to set up an interest-bearing demand deposit account.
  3. Make sure the account is identified as a client trust account. You or your law firm should be identified as the owner of the account and the Lawyers Trust Fund should be designated as the recipient of interest generated on the account.
  4. Make sure the account uses the tax identification number (TIN) of the Lawyers Trust Fund. (Many banks have the TIN on record. It is also available on request from LTF.)
  5. Download the Notice to Financial Institution/Notice of Enrollment Form:
  6. Complete the first page of the form and provide it to the financial institution.
  7. Complete the second page and return it to the Lawyers Trust Fund via email or fax (312-938-3091).

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