Land Trusts

I am looking to set up a land trust to protect my properties. Can i use the land trust to buy property in all states? If i set up a trust in one state can I purchase in other states? Any referrals on where to go to set up a trust? What is the average cost?

Land trusts as used by most people do not protect anything.



A local attorney who practices in this area.

quick note on trusts. When you deed the land into a trust, you no longer own it. The trustee does. So you need to first be careful who the trustee is.

If you grant the land into a trust, then hold that trust with an LLC the LLC can be the trustee and since you’re the controlling member of the LLC, you can hold the beneficial interest in the trust thru the LLC. If you set it up right that is. The beneficiary is the one that gets the use of the property. You pay taxes and such as normal.

The trust itself gets your name off the recorded document, and the trustee cannot divulge the owner without permission. But again…the TRUSTEE owns the property, you no longer do so you have to be careful how you do it.

Consult an atty that knows how land trusts work, and good luck on that!

The beneficiary will be revealed in a deposition or debtor’s exam unless he is willing to go to jail.

Im not an expert but I think the TRUST owns the property. The TRUSTEE doesn’t own it, they handle the trust for the beneficary.

MI-Newbie you are correct. I addressed that incorrectly. The trust indeed owns the property, the trustee has control as set out by the trust agreement.

The point I was attempting to make, and failed miserably was this. Be careful who the trustee is as they have control of the trust and therefore the property. If they happen to be unscroupulous you may find yourself without property and expensive recourse.

The LLC thing is a way around that so you can, in essence, be your own trustee. Tho I’m not sure you’d really gain any protection from it other than getting your name off title/deed. A good lawyer that understands how the scenario would work and play out is surely needed. A good CPA would also be required to ensure you get the tax consequences correct. I can’t be positive you could put the trust in an LLC w/o triggering the DOSC of the original note as this changes ownership. Putting it into the trust does not, but the LLC is a different animal.

Bottom line is, not sure if the benefit would outweigh the time and cost to set it up.

MI-Newbie and Vette-Boy,

I don’t know where you guys are using trusts to hold title to your real estate. In my state, the trustee is the titled owner of the property on behalf of the trust.

If John Doe is the trustee of the 123 Main Street Trust, in my state title would be recorded in the name of “John Doe, Trustee, 123 Main Street Trust” that is what appears on the public record. A computer search on owners names would include “John Doe, Trustee”

Property records are a state by state thing. Some list the trustee. Some list the trust. In any case, the trustee controls the property according to the trust agreement and state law. He is also responsible for any legal issues involving the trust.

The DOSC is triggered once the beneficial interest of the trust is changed or the property is transferred to an LLC.

This is exactly correct.