Ready to Start - have questions

At long last I am ready to “jump in to investing”! But I have some basic questions regarding my “dream team” of advisors and forming an LLC or Trust.

Dream Team: What attorney (specialty) should I contact to get advice on forming an LLC or Trust?

What qualities do I look for in an accountant for my business?

Any recommendations on structuring a business? I’ve heard set up a trust and set up an llc - which is better for what situation?

If I find a nice property at a tax or sherriff’s sale but there are junior liens, what type of an attorney can help quiet title?

All suggestions cheerfully accepted,
Vicky S

I’d be careful jumping into something…you could end up jumping into an empty pool. Have you done enough research/reading?

Yes, I’ve been researching and experiencing for the past 30 years. I think that is enough. I have managed ocean front resorts managed Bank Real Estate Owned Portfolios and held a Realtor’s license. Not to mention attending countless seminars, read books, etc. etc.

Answers to my original questions would be greatly appreciated.

VickyS what I would do in looking for professionals to help me with entity structure accounting etc, is deal with the advisors, lawyers accountants that advertise and make speeches etc at my local real estate investors club. I had an accountant once tell me that I would have trouble getting more than 3 or 4 mortgages. The accountant I have now has 20 houses of his own. He knows the business. The lawyer I use now understands not just tort, but the kind of tort that I should guard against. For example my lawyer didn’t just sell me an LLC or corporation, what he did is protect me from judgments. I don’t need to protect myself from a tenant suing me, what I need to do is protect myself from a lawyer wanting to take the case to sue me. I do that by making myself judgment proof. In Texas if you win a judgment you can’t take a persons house, their car, retirement fund, or tools of his trade. That means all they can get are any large sums of money that I may have laying around or any equity in my rental property. Since my properties are all highly leveraged (and the judgment it would take a subordinate position to a mortgage) the lawyer suing me would realize that the most he could recover does not justify him taking the case. So instead of selling me an entity, he structured my business. I do have a couple of LLCs but he sold them to me for business reasons and not to protect me from an eventuality that I am not at risk for. The Insurance agent I use knows how to write policies for builders risk as well as rental property (which also includes coverage for loss rents).

I guess my advice is use someone familiar with the industry.

Bluemoon - very good advice, thank you. I have read that your best advisors are those who also invest. I am a member of my state’s REIA. Unfortunately, the club meets and the advertising professionals are all an hour and a half away. Right now, I have to work for a living so traveling 3 hours makes for a long lunch!

I guess my biggest question is what specialty should an attorney have to help structure your business? Example: Attorney who specializes in medical malpractice cases will probably not be the best choice to structure my business. So who is the best type of attorney to help me?

Thanks in advance for your response.

I would call some attorneys and ask them if they do that, and if so, how often. There really is no such thing as “specialists” in law, but of course most attorneys do certain things more than others.

Entity formation from a legal standpoint is not very complicated. I would focus more on the tax aspects than the legal aspects. To that end, try to find a lawyer who is also a CPA, preferably one who specializes in working with real estate investors.

You can go to and find lawyers based on your criteria. Then narrow the focus to those who are also CPAs.

first off, I don’t believe in dream teams. If anything YOU better be the star player.

Next you need a focus and strategy. This will dictate what kind of professional services you need as well as particular knowledge to be required. This also impact what business structure to utilize (S-copr, LLC, trust, etc)

Lastly, and not be rude, but you seem to be overly reliant on your 30 years of epxerience as a qualification to be a real estate investor. Do some self-examination as to what is your core competance. I say that as you ask the question of what kind of atty to bring a quiet title action against junior leins form a tax sale. The answer is none becuase jr. liens are wiped out (your focus should be finding a title company that will handle that type of property for the resale side). If your core experience is in high rental then build an investment strategy around that. That’s not to say you can’t branch out, but starting out leverage the experience and knowledge you already have; not just willy-nilly buy “investment” property.