We Can Secure and Protect Your Assets with a Florida Land Trust
A real estate land trust is a legally binding agreement that occurs when the owner of a property transfers title of the premises to a trustee. It is an entity often used by real estate investors and is done for a specific purpose. By entering into a land trust, owners can retain all rights to a property and direct the land trust, while remaining anonymous in public records. Perhaps the most famous land trust agreement in the State of Florida was that of Walt Disney. He purchased thousands of acres of property in Central Florida, keeping the purchase private, until he was ready to reveal his plan for his theme parks.
In a Florida land trust, the owner, also known as the grantor, has full control on the use of the property with privacy of ownership, as only the trustee’s name is disclosed in public records. A designated trustee must act in accordance with the directions of the owner to prevent liability for negligence. The beneficiary of the land trust is usually the owner or heirs to the property.
There are many benefits associated with a land trust, including:
- For property that is leased, the tenant is unaware of the owner’s name, and only has access to the name of the property manager
- The anonymity of the owner limits the liability of the owner from creditors, title claims, and litigation
- Following the death of the owner, the transfer of property avoids probate court proceedings
- In property transactions with multiple owners, only the trustee needs to be present to sign legal documents
- Protection of the owner from Homeowner’s Association Claims, as the land trust is the only recourse for any debts
The legalities of land trusts are highly complex. If you are considering the formation of a land trust agreement, it is in your best interest to have an experienced real estate attorney prepare the needed documents. Richard W. Taylor and Michael P. Nordman are Board Certified in Real Estate Law. Only a small percentage of real estate lawyers in the state of Florida are board certified. Additionally, attorneys Richard W. Taylor and Michael P. Nordman are lifelong Volusia County residents, each with family in the county for over three generations. Both partners pride themselves as being zealous advocates in protecting their clients’ interests in and out of the courtroom.
Florida land trusts are revocable and the owner/grantor can modify, update or terminate them at any time. For land trusts with more than one owner, such as a group of investors, it is important to draft an additional agreement, setting up the rules of the land trust to prevent future conflict. One of the investors may wish to sell, sub-divide the property, or terminate the trust while the others are not in agreement.
Contact a Board-Certified Real Estate Lawyer Today
Richard W. Taylor and Michael P. Nordman are both Board Certified attorneys in the practice area of real estate law. They understand that each land trust is unique and requires a customized approach for maximum asset protection. Call our office today at (386) 734-2558 for an initial consultation. We can provide personalized counsel and recommendations for the best course of action in handling your case.