Undoubtedly, land trusts are valuable estate planning tools for those who want a flexible and anonymous method to own real property in Florida. For example, no creditor can attach a judgment or lien to a property whose ownership is titled to a land trust.
In this article, you will discover the benefits of setting up a land trust in Florida.
Florida Land Trust – Understanding the Concept
A trust is a legal arrangement wherein the trust maker (referred to as “grantor” or “settlor”) transfers property to a trustee to benefit one or multiple beneficiaries. Essentially, a land trust is a real property title-holding tool used for purposes associated with estate planning and asset management.
When creating a land trust, the grantor conveys the title of a property (e.g., an ocean-front house) to a trustee, who holds the property’s legal and equitable titles. Hence, no property deed will identify the beneficiaries of a Florida land trust.
Typically, the process of establishing a land trust involves three fundamental documents, which are the land trust agreement, a deed of trust, and a trust agreement’s memorandum.
Although it may sound like rocket science, setting up a land trust does not need to be overwhelming. To ensure a smooth experience, seek professional guidance from an expert estate planning attorney in Florida.
Benefits of a Land Trust in Florida – The Essentials
Anonymity and Identity Preservation
In a trust structure, the beneficiaries are the true owners of the assets held within the trust. The primary reason for establishing a land trust is to preserve the identity of beneficiaries. As only the trustee’s name appears in public records, the beneficiaries of a land trust remain anonymous.
In real estate deals, a property seller tends to ask for a higher value when he/she knows the buyer is wealthy. In such a case, a land trust may preserve an entrepreneur’s identity and maintain the competitive edge during negotiations.
An example of a wealthy individual who used land trusts to gain an upper hand in expanding his businesses was Walt Disney (1901-1966).
Flexibility & Administrative Advantages
Similar to other types of trusts, land trusts provide the grantor’s successors the possibility to circumvent probate and easily access trust property.
Property held within a land trust can be easily transferred through an assignment document, waiving the formalities of transferring a property’s deed. Additionally, multiple people can own interest in a land trust but only the trustee is required to sign documentation that affects the property held within it.
The trustee of a land trust can sell or lease real estate held in the trust, which contributes to the confidentiality of trust documents that would have to be recorded otherwise.
Land trusts are largely used for asset protection purposes. For example, an individual co-owning interest in a land trust may not be affected by judgments, liens, bankruptcies, or other issues affecting other co-owners.
In such a case, only the interest of each owner is affected, leaving the title to the property held in the trust intact.
Enjoy the Benefits of a Land Trust in Florida – Work with an Expert Trust Attorney Today
If you seek privacy and ease of ownership while owning real property in Florida, a land trust may be the ideal option for your case. Waste no time – contact Attorney Romy B. Jurado today by calling at (305) 921-0976 or emailing Romy@juradolawfirm.com to schedule a consultation.