You’ve probably heard about land trusts and how they can benefit you as an investor, but do you know the reasons why? Below are some of the top questions and answers pertaining to land trusts that will help you when deciding whether or not this option is right for you. Read through them carefully before making any big decisions.
The question that should definitely be answered here is what is a land trust? A land trust is a simple document detailing an agreement between the trustee and beneficiary that is designed to keep the land owner’s name off public records. This is so the public cannot access information about the identity of the owner. A tax I.D. number is not given to the land trust itself, but instead is provided to the “beneficial interest”. The “beneficial interest” could be a person or entity. This keeps just anyone who is simply curious from seeing exactly what you, the investor, actually own.
Question #2, why would you want a land trust? This is a great question to answer if you really aren’t concerned with who knows what types of property you own and how much. Still, there are times when people wish to gain access to information for reasons other than simple curiosity or to find a particular piece of property. Let’s face it, anyone wishing to buy a property from you will have most likely seen the signs or ads and know how to contact you directly concerning the possible sale. Other people, such as those wishing to delve deep into the personal information of others can conduct simple Internet searches to find out just how many properties you own and their exact locations. These aren’t necessarily people who have a vested interest in doing business with you the investor. This does not mean those searching for the information have any intent to do harm, but it does mean your privacy is compromised. Just think of the vast amount of information available via the Internet on people now as it is. It isn’t that you don’t want people to know about your properties. You do want them to if they are looking for one to buy. If not, you may wish to keep the rest of your personal and public life as out of reach as possible. This may be especially relevant with all the concerns about identity theft and other issues that can compromise one’s privacy and quality of life. Simply put, owning a land trust just keeps less information available to the public and you safer as a result.
Finally, can you own several land trusts? The answer to this question is yes. You can own several properties without making your name public on them. Taxes are still reported, but this is done by the beneficiary of the agreement. Many investors choose this method to maintain some anonymity and still sell properties.