Protecting Real Property from Financial Risk

Real Estate Trusts

Realty Land Trusts for Title Anonymity

Owning real estate is a tremendous advantage in our society. It can also be a big liability which is why you need privacy. There are three reasons for anonymous ownership – it’s none of your business what I own, it can help you avoid opportunists, and confidential transfers.

The County Recorder’s records are computer databases. The public can view these records online or in the office. The name of any property owner, individual or LLC is readily available. What if there was a private alternative for you? It’s a real estate land trust.

Frivolous lawsuits are filed every year by contingency-fee lawyers on behalf of clients who are trying to steal your hard earned equity. Do you know your equity is easily calculated by outsiders? They’re creatures of opportunity. Keep a low profile from these pesky people using a real estate land trust.

When playing bridge or poker do you show your cards or keep them to yourself? And yet when buying a property few people think about or receive any quality advice about anonymous title vesting. Your first line of defence is always privacy.

County Recorder Profiles

Although homeowners may use the real estate trust for their personal residence, a living trust is safer and less risky. However, investors with income properties whether residential, commercial or industrial are at much greater financial risk. LLCs leave a breadcrumb trail and map to your assets, a big mistake! And high profile individuals should always use a real estate land trust to keep their name off public records.

Reduce Predator Risk

Everything About Bills Home EquityIdentity thieves and problem tenants can scheme to extort money from you. They’re creatures of opportunity. Even the media can cause you grief these days. Yet genuine liability can arise from personal accidents which is why you have liability insurance. If you have your real estate in your personal name, an LLC (Limited Liability Company), or even in a living trust, any busybody can visit the county recorder to identify you, and do simple math to estimate your net equity and total holdings.

Safer Transactions

Buyers and sellers of real estate generally encounter successful transactions. However, there are times when a dispute becomes a legal problem. When your property is purchased in or sold by a real estate land trust, you are personally and legally isolated from the transaction. This offers you a safety margin working toward any resolution.

Real Estate Agents

All professionals in the real estate industry are aware of title vesting. Yet very few know a real estate land trust is best! In escrow for a pending transaction the question about vesting is often unanswered or very casual. Clients are advised to seek outside counsel by all parties assisting with the transaction. Except the client is already mentally overloaded with issues and under financial pressure. The thought of expending more time to independently seek out yet another individual for advice and then sorting through the options is overwhelming to most clients. We have the solution for them. Send your clients to our site and let them explore for themselves the best way to hold title.

In today’s complex financial world, a living trust is the bare minimum for vesting a personal residence. If privacy is a sensitive issue get the real estate trust. Agents and brokers themselves know how important this is to provide a higher quality transaction. Give your clients peace of mind about their real property ownership for today and their heirs for tomorrow.

Safety From Personal Liens & Judgments

Problems such as personal tax liens and civil judgments will not attach to property title owned by a real estate trust. This is because the legal owner is your fiduciary trustee. In a standard vesting situation, personal liens or judgments can attach to the property and instantly seize your equity. Or, you can buy, hold or sell real estate without effect from your temporary personal financial problems by using the real estate trust.

Better than an LLC

LLCs are your second line of defense. They are costly, involve annual filings and a great deal of paperwork, and are part of the public record. When selling escrow requires LLC authorizations and certificate of good standing. When it owns real estate the resident agent is easy to find and serve with legal papers. Owning real estate in your personal name or even a living trust also leaves you exposed to opportunists. Only the real estate land trust is truly stealthy, your first line of defense. It is the superior title method for owning and isolating your real estate with privacy.

Depending upon your operations, an LLC and a Real Estate Trust can complement each other.

Frustrate nosy people and litigants by placing each property into its own real estate trust (aka “Chicago Title Land Trust”). This trust is specifically designed to only hold real estate. It provides legal separation from you personally, and your other financial assets – this is very powerful safety. It will save you time and money too!

Cash Buyers or High Equity

If you paid $750,000 cash for a property and the transaction is recorded as such, that’s just like publishing your $750,000 bank statement online for anyone to see. And without any mortgage lien, all your equity is exposed naked. Didn’t anyone warn you of this reality? Anything can now happen – dog bite, broken window, slip and fall. This is an easy $100,000 contingency attorney case, with a “lis pendens” recorded in first lien position. Your property is frozen – until you hire an attorney. With a real estate land trust, you can easily plan and often avoid this type of surprise.

Silent Ownership Transfers

Use the real estate land trust for confidential transfers of any portion of the ownership interest without a recorded deed. For example, you can gift half shares to two heirs. Or you can quietly sell the entire interest to a buyer. There is no need to record a deed. Depending upon the circumstances, this might give you a strategic advantage when selling because of low property taxes.

The Story

We discovered real estate land trusts as the result of a request two decades ago. A real estate investor once asked us if there was “anything better” than an LLC for holding title to his winery property. The answer was a real estate trust. The privacy and safety factors sold us. You now get the benefit of twenty years of practical experiences that followed.

Proven Security

The real estate trust has a 500-year history going back to English landowners in the Middle Ages. They originally used it to safely pass property onto their heirs and prevent capricious seizure by the king. It also provided insulation from personal problems with tenants, lawsuits, accidents, taxes, and the general public. Ownership was vested in a fiduciary (an individual trustee – or group of trustees). This tradition continues today. You can now take full advantage of these trust benefits.

“But My Attorney…”

As valuable as private trusts are for owning real estate, very few lawyers know how they work. So they generally suggest a living trust or an LLC. Those common instruments are dependable sources of fee income related to paperwork and legally required filings. A real estate trust is virtually the opposite. With a one-time setup, your property ownership is rendered invisible to the public with the real estate land trust. There is never any maintenance fees or filings.

In the financial jungle of life, if an LLC is the hunter’s gun…is a trust the animal’s stealth? Which comes first?

Litigation: A machine which you go into as a pig and come out of as a sausage.
– Ambrose Bierce

Real Estate Land Trust, Living Trust and Heirs

You can transfer ownership of the real estate trust to anyone – in your living trust or outside your living trust. You can selectively transfer property ownership to children from a previous marriage, to a former spouse, a business partner, or a charity. It’s very flexible and private. You can change your distributions at any time without a lawyer, just a simple amendment. Perhaps this a good way to incentivize good behavior among your heirs?

Tap into the Unique Power of Trusts

To get the best asset privacy you must have strategic guidance. We ask you key questions about context and goals. But only you can provide the answers. Once you work with us you’ll quickly understand why clients keep returning year after year. No one else has the depth or expertise with asset privacy except Trustarte. We’re here to personally assist you. Get the privacy your assets not only deserve, but need.

Request a Trust ConsultationRequest a Personal Consultation

Investment advisers, attorneys, accountants, accredited investors, hedge fund managers, qualified purchasers, family offices and individuals seek out James. He designs very effective privacy solutions for them. These highly personalized relationships are essential for professional success.


Comparison of Owning Property
 in Your Personal Name vs. Real Estate Land Trust

Advantage / Disadvantage Trust Corporation
Your Ownership is Concealed
Sales Price can Remain Secret
Quietly transfer ownership without 
recording a new deed, avoiding 
withholding and transfer tax
Equity is safe from Personal Liens 
and Civil Judgments
Properties are isolated from
 each other
When buying, you might 
retain previous owner’s tax base
Can split benefits of Capital Gains 
and Rental Income among multiple parties
Can provide protection against pending judicial foreclosure

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