Land Trusts

A Florida land trust is a written legal agreement among different parties to manage, operate, and hold legal title to Florida real estate property. You, as the trust maker, must appoint someone as a trustee to hold the legal title to a parcel of property for your benefit. Additionally, you are a land trust beneficiary. This means that you control the use and sale of the property.

There are many legalities involved in a Florida land trust. Lopez Law Group can help you navigate the complex laws and regulations that can vary by jurisdiction. There are a variety of reasons why someone may want land trust. This can include:

    • Protection from liens
    • Making contracts assignable
    • Privacy
    • Discouraging litigation
    • Protection from title claims
    • Making loans “Assumable”
    • Protection from HOA claims

    Land trusts can be a powerful tool for the savvy real estate investor. They afford maximum privacy and protection. Our team of land trust specialists can assist you in any of the following areas:

    • Written land trust agreement
    • Preparation of a deed
    • Draft conservation easements
    • Explain tax implications
    • Advise on staffing and management issues
    • Guide responses to potential violations
    • Litigate in court for protected land

    As legislatures revise statues and courts decide on precedent-setting cases, the legal framework for conservation is constantly shifting. You need a legal team like Lopez Law Group to walk you through the complex process of land trusts. Contact us today for a consultation and we’ll help you get started.

    When To Hire A Land Trust Lawyer?

    A land trust comes with a lot of legalese and you should be looking for a Florida land trust firm that also understands estate planning and probate to fully assist you. There are several instances you may encounter in which you may want to hire a land trust lawyer. These can include:

    You wish to avoid probate.

    Florida has one of the most lengthy and expensive probate processes in the country. A land trust will avoid probate. Contingent beneficiaries are listed in the trust document. A land trust lawyer can help you avoid the probate process by easing the transfer of ownership without court proceedings.

    You seek to maximize your bargaining power.

    Land trusts allow buyers to make a confidential offer to purchase a property. Confidential offers can help a buyer stay anonymous, save money, and maintain negotiating leverage. A land trust attorney can draft a trust agreement and put the land trust process in motion.

    You wish to prevent litigation.

    Real estate is one of your biggest assets. A land trust can shield you from asset searches, which decreases your chances of litigation. Even with a judgment, it cannot automatically be attached to your real estate. Collection attorneys will need to take steps post-judgment which means you may buy or sell even if there are judgments against you.

    You wish to retain privacy and anonymity of ownership.

    There is no public record of beneficiaries in a land trust. The title appears solely in the name of the trustee. There are no requirements to register the trust. It is only required the owner be disclosed at the time of sale. A land trust attorney can begin drafting a Deed of Trust to get the ball rolling.

    You wish to avoid a lien.

    Any judgments or liens against you do not automatically attach to your property. The means, with a land trust, you may be able to buy or sell real estate regardless of judgments against you.

    If you are still not sure if a Florida land trust is right for you, or you have more questions, contact us today. We’d love to schedule a consultation and get to work on your land trust.

  • FAQs

    Why do I need a land trust?

    There are a variety of reasons why someone would want a land trust. This can include:

    • Maintain financial safety
    • Protection from title claims
    • Protection from liens
    • Privacy
    • Making contracts assignable
    • Discouraging litigation
    • Making loans “Assumable”
    • Protection from HOA claims

    Why is land trust better than an LLC?

    While an LLC may provide liability protection for an owner, it will not afford them privacy. Any owner can be located at the Secretary of State website through their LLC, including the home address. And if they own several properties, all of those can be revealed too

    Who owns a land trust?

    The person who establishes a land trust is typically the owner. If you have a spouse, you are likely setting up the land trust with them. If you decide to transfer the beneficiary you can do so whenever you like and can typically avoid creating issues with your title insurance or documentary tax.

    How can a land trust get and send property?

    After you have executed documents and have set up a trustee, which often times is yourself, you must then transfer the real estate into the land trust you have created. You will usually go grab the deed and sign in front of a notary and record that document with the county. You will want to make sure that the appropriate language is on the deed to make sure it is transferred correctly.

    How do I find out who is the trustee of my land trust?Windräder, Vegetable Field, Energy, Agriculture

    You will typically be the trustee if you set it up. The question then becomes who is the trustee after you pass away or are no longer able to make decisions? You will name a successor trustee who will take over when that point arises.

    Does a land trust prevent the probate process?

    If you have a land trust and you put your property in the trust, you will be able to avoid the Florida probate process. A trust is a separate legal entity, meaning that it continues to exist after your demise and will do so until it is terminated.

    Is a land trust subject to guardianships?

    Yes, it is protected from a guardianship. Instead of having to appoint someone to look after your property by way of a guardianship at the time you are incapacitated, having your property placed in a land trust allows you to avoid that entire process.

    Does having a land trust impact tax?

    Having a land trust can help you potentially avoid any potential estate tax, and if you happen to be taxed, makes sure you are done so at the lowest individual rate. As far as federal taxes go, there are not currently any federal estate taxes unless your assets exceed a certain amount, usually in the millions of dollars.

    If I die, what happens to my land trust I have established?

    You had to name a successor trustee. After your death, this successor trustee will need to see to it that your property in the trust is dealt with as you directed.

    Can I amend my land trust documents?

    A land trust document can be changed at any time. It is also revocable at any time. This is one reason establishing a land trust is often selected. If you decide that you want to change the trustee, or you decide that a land trust is no longer needed, you can make changes to reflect such.

If you would like to set up a land trust or have questions about an existing land trust, the attorneys at the Lopez Law Group are here to assist. We can be reached at 727-933-0015. We can review any documents you may have and can consult with you about the advantages of creating a land trust. If you have questions about an existing trust, we can go over your unique situation and ensure that your questions are answered. We can assist with creation or modification of land trust documents as well. Our attorneys are standing by and are able to speak with you today!