In a previous article (Land Trust) we discussed that a land trust is a method of owning real estate, whereby one party (the “trustee”), agrees to hold legal title to a property for the benefit of the “beneficiary(s)”. Essentially, the title is recorded in the name of the trustee, but the beneficiary retains complete control of the property, as if the title were recorded in his/her own name.
The following are the key benefits of land trusts for home owners:
- Privacy of Ownership
Your identity as the legal owner of the real estate is not disclosed to the public or to any third party, except in cases of subpoena or court order.
- Ease of Transfer
The owner of a land trust may be changed without recording a change in the public records.
- Avoid Transfer Taxes
Since the owner may be changed without recording a change in the public records, using a Land Trust saves you from paying transfer taxes.
- Avoid Probate
Probate is usually necessary regardless of whether or not you have a will. A Land Trust arrangement, however, allows you to name individuals who will inherit the property upon your death, thereby eliminating the need for a lengthy and costly probate proceeding.
- Retain Tax Advantages
You are still eligible for the homeowner’s and senior citizen’s real estate tax exemptions.
- Avoid Judgments and Liens
Judgments and liens against individual beneficiaries do not attach to property held in a Land Trust. As a result, you may transfer the property even if you judgments against you. This even includes IRS liens.
If you are interested in owning your property in a land trust or have additional questions about land trusts, please contact our real estate attorneys at (312) 261-0771. Our office can assist you in all aspects of land trust creation.