A land trust is a revocable, living trust designed to hold title to real estate. Each property is titled in a separate trust, using a trustee with a different last name to keep your ownership (“beneficial interest”) private from prying eyes.
A land trust is not an entity like an LLC, so it does not file with the state, nor does it have a tax ID number. The trust is disregarded for income tax purposes, so the beneficiary reports the income and expenses on his return. The beneficiary can be an LLC or corporation for additional liability protection.
Starting at just $650 per trust, we will create the land trust agreement and prepare the deed to change ownership of your property to the trust.
— I Already Own the Property in an LLC – Why Do I Need a Land Trust?
LLCs are public record, so it is easy for people to look up the information on the LLC. The land trust agreement is not recorded, so nobody knows the identity of the beneficiary.
— What About the Insurance on the Property?
You need to change the hazard insurance to name the new owner, the trust. The trustee, you, and the beneficiary need to be named as additional insureds for liability.
— What If the Trustee Dies?
The trust agreement names an alternate trustee if the trustee dies or is unable to serve.
— Can I Use the Land Trust Instead of a Living Trust?
The land trusts own the properties, then your living trust can be the beneficiaries of the land trusts. For even greater protection, you can layer it one step further, by having the land trusts owned by one or more LLCs, which are in turn owned by your estate planning living trust.
Land Trusts 101 by Attorney William Bronchick