Benefits to Establishing a Florida Land Trust

There’s more than one way to own property. Most people, though, just own it outright. Their name shows up in the county deed records for all to see. What if there was another way to own property, a way that may offer more privacy and protection? Read on to learn more about the benefits gained by establishing a Florida land trust.

The Florida Land Trust Act allows a revocable trust to own real property. The trust, then, is owned by its beneficiaries. In fact, the beneficiary or beneficiaries have full control of the property and may even add additional property to the trust. There’s no firm deadline for when the trust ends. Instead, the trust retains the assets until the beneficiaries terminate the trust.

Florida land trusts are fairly simple to establish. Typically, only two documents may be required: A Deed in Trust, and a Florida Land Trust Agreement. However, this type of ownership offers some significant benefits.

Avoids Public Record

Deeds are used to transfer property ownership.

However, deeds are recorded with the county recorder, which makes them part of the public record. Anyone can look at deed records and, in fact, many property records are available to view online.

With a Florida Land Trust, however, the details of the property ownership remain private. The trustee’s name is the only name that should appear in the public record.

Ownership Rights Retained

As mentioned above, beneficiaries continue to control real property placed in a land trust. In addition, trust beneficiaries retain most rights of ownership. This includes the option of claiming a homestead exemption on the property.

Limits Liability

Generally, property held in a Florida land trust is not vulnerable to civil judgments and liens lodged against individual beneficiaries. In fact, beneficiaries of a land trust are less likely to be targeted in lawsuits. The trust might be sued, but not the beneficiaries.

Ownership Flexibility

Florida Land Trusts may be established by:

  • individuals,
  • groups,
  • revocable or irrevocable trusts,
  • general partners,
  • business entities like limited liability companies, limited partnerships, or corporations.

Let’s say that XYZ Partnership wants to buy property but doesn’t want its ownership interests to be public knowledge. The partners decide to buy the property as The Anon Group Trust. The trust document is drafted and signed by Micky Jones as trustee, with XYZ Partnership named as sole beneficiary. Details of the trust remain private, though, because the trust document does not have to be recorded. Micky Jones is the only individual’s name associated with the real property.

Would You Benefit from a Florida Land Trust?

At Law Offices of John Mangan, P.A., we help clients build a solid plan for their estates, one that fits their circumstances. Please contact us at 772-324-9050 to schedule an appointment or fill out our Contact Form. We are located in Palm City, Florida, and serve clients in surrounding communities like Stuart, Hobe Sound, Port St. Lucie, and Jupiter.

 

 

For more information:

What Happens to a Trust After Death?

Written by John Mangan, Esq.

John Mangan, Esq.

I’m an attorney in Palm City, FL, and I serve clients throughout Martin County, including Stuart, Palm City, Hobe Sound, and Indiantown, as well as those in St. Lucie County, the Treasure Coast, Palm Beach County, and other parts of Florida. The Law Offices of John Mangan, P.A., is an innovative firm providing estate planning services to clients in Florida. We focus primarily on wills, trusts, asset protection, guardianship, and probate administration.