An Introduction to Florida Land Trusts

Florida Land Trusts are an excellent way to hold the title of many types of real estate, including business, rental, and even, in certain situations, personal real property. The trust becomes the legal owner of the property, and the trust is then ‘owned’ by the beneficiary or beneficiaries. This legal setup offers a variety of important advantages over simply owning property in the traditional fashion.

A Trust Attorney Explains How a Florida Land Trust Works

A Florida Land Trust is simply a legal entity that is created in order to ‘own’ a property. If you are interested in having this type of trust, an attorney can create it according to the needed specifications. When using it to hold property that you plan on purchasing, it is best to have the trust set up prior to the purchase so that the trust itself is used for the transaction, which can keep your name off of any of the purchase documents and out of public records.

These trusts allow the beneficiary or beneficiaries to retain full control over the land in question. The trust is also fully revocable at any time. Adding additional property to the trust is permitted at any time. Once set up, the land will remain in the trust until a time at which the beneficiary chooses to either remove it, transfer it, or take some other action.

Advantages of a Florida Land Trust

There are a variety of important advantages that a Florida Land Trust can provide. While not right for every situation, understanding why these trusts are used can help you to determine whether or not it is right for you.

  • Privacy – Property can be placed directly into a Florida Land Trust, and the names of the beneficiaries never needs to become public. This can help protect your privacy today and long into the future.
  • Keeping Judgments and Liens Off the Property – When property is held in a land trust, judgments and liens filed against individual beneficiaries generally do not attach to the land.
  • Avoiding Litigation – Owners of property are easy lawsuit targets.  But, if a person does not own property in his/her own name but is instead the beneficiary of a land trust that owns property, that person is less likely to become the target of a frivolous lawsuit.  

You Won’t Avoid Most Taxes & Fees

Some people hope to use a Florida Land Trust to avoid certain fees such as gift taxes, property assessments, transfer taxes, or income from the property. Unfortunately, this type of trust will not accomplish those goals. The beneficiary(ies) of the trust will still need to pay any relevant taxes, fees, or other expenses associated with owning the property.

Help Creating a Florida Land Trust

If you are thinking about purchasing property, or you may be inheriting property in the future, it makes sense to learn more about Florida Land Trusts and how they can help. The Law Offices of John Mangan, P.A., is available to assist with the creation of land trusts. Please contact us to discuss your options and schedule a time to begin the process.

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.