What is a land trust? Regardless of it being around for close to a century now, people continue to question what it stands for. Ironically, you may have been into it and perhaps been exploited due to your naivety.
A land trust is a private legal contract that involves the transfer of the title of a property from the owner to the trustee. The trustee holds the title, but the beneficiary holds real power.
Want to learn more about a land trust? Take a look at some of its key features below.
Most people ask, ‘what is a land trust?’ This question can be best answered by elaborating this first feature. A land trust shields the privacy of the beneficiaries under it, meaning that public records do not disclose this information.
The identity of those involved only gets revealed in case of a court order or subpoena. This privacy status comes as an added advantage to the beneficiaries in that they can procure large property. The anonymity guaranteed by the trust ensures that there is no case of extortion through inflated prices.
2. Saves beneficiaries from probate
A land trust goes past the first generation. In most cases, you would expect a probate once there is a deceased beneficiary, but it isn’t the case in land trusts.
Instead, it is regarded as a revocable grantor trust whereby the property is considered outside the court process. With this, there will be a smooth transition from the deceased person to the heir.
Cases on a will can, at times, be messy and lengthy, which can end up complicating the inheritance process. It is only fair to be in a land trust contract to make sure that issues that could arise are avoided.
3. Protects against unruly judgments
A land trust is a great way of protecting assets! For instance, there can be a single property owned by more than one beneficiary. In such a scenario, a feeling of dissatisfaction could creep in, leading to unnecessary court cases. When such cases play in favor of a single party, the rest will remain as a safe courtesy of the land trust.
At the same time, the bankruptcy of one member does not affect the rest. The legal framework of the land trust dictates that it is immune to such court processes and judgments. This means that any property under a land trust is not subject to recovery when there are bankruptcy allegations against individuals.
4. Invalidates partition
In any healthy society, there is a likelihood of misunderstanding among members. In such a case, the differences may leave some people feeling that they should subdivide the land. Similar to the court process, a land trust is immune to partitioning unless approved by the trustee.
One thing about land is that it is among the few assets that keep appreciating. The invalidation of the partition process, therefore, comes as an advantage to the beneficiaries because the market value will keep soaring. This way, even those who want to quit will reap big when the time is due.
A common question on the internet is ‘what is a land trust?’ and this shows global concern on the topic. Land trusts ensure that any land that was previously acquired is properly conserved. A land trust is the way to go as it grants immunity on several fronts, including long-term conservation benefits to communities.