If you're thinking about setting up a land trust to hold title to your property, you may be wondering if it's really necessary. After all, isn't it just another layer of complexity and expense?
At a basic level, a land trust is simply an arrangement whereby someone other than the owner of the property holds title to it. The owner (known as the "beneficial owner") retains all the rights of ownership, including the right to sell, lease, or borrow against the property. The trustee, meanwhile, holds title on the beneficial owner's behalf and manages the property according to the terms of the trust agreement.
So why bother with a land trust? There are a few reasons. First, it can help you keep your ownership of the property private. The trustee's name, rather than your own, will be on public records. Second, a land trust can help you avoid probate. If the property is held in trust, it won't be subject to the lengthy and costly probate process. Finally, a land trust can help you manage the property more efficiently. The trustee can take care of the day-to-day details, such as paying the property taxes and insurance, while you focus on the big picture.
If you're considering setting up a land trust, it's worth talking to a qualified attorney or tax advisor to see if it makes sense for your situation.