If you’ve started learning about the land trust recently, questions are common. We’ve gone ahead and made some primers on what a land trust is and the benefits of the structure, but today, we’re going to answer your most Frequently Asked Questions about the land trust. The inboxes here at Royal Legal HQ are regularly flooded with the same questions--so we plan to start with those. If you have more, just let us know, because we’re always happy to answer your questions--in email or blog format. Let’s dive in.
Yes. Really. We have clients use land trusts for this purpose regularly: to obtain better financing for an investment property. We’ve outlined the basic method before, but here are the broad strokes:
It really is that simple. We’ve never known someone who got in “trouble” because the worst thing that can happen with this method is receiving a love note from the bank. If this happens, your property can revert back to your name. You know, where it was in the first place.
If you still want to protect the asset, it’s likely you made a misstep the first time. When executed with professional help, few investors ever get a letter from their bank because the bank is none the wiser. Breathe. Due-on-sale violations aren’t punishable by hard labor It’s not a crime to get better deals, and each piece of this plan is perfectly legal.
Ideally, yes. While one land trust is better than none, the optimal strategy is to use one per property. That way, you can really enjoy each land trust benefit for each and every property, whether the benefit you want is:
Regular readers now wondering if we’ve been lying about everything all along like scorned spouses, slow your roll. Actually, anyone with this question can slow their roll. First of all, was Some Blogger a credentialed asset protection attorney? If not, exactly what makes them an expert on the topic? You can look up our credentials, read our reviews, etc. Do the same and check your source.
You’re looking to see if their opinion on asset protection is any more valuable than say, our opinion on the best color for your living room we’ve never seen (Coral. Totally go with coral).
See the problem there? We don’t know what we’re matching to, what you like, or anything about you. Also, we’re lawyers, not interior decorators. Our lead attorney Scott Smith freely admits lacking interior decorating expertise--perhaps it was this lack of talent that forced him to turn to law, which he’s pretty darn good at. Remember, he used a land trust to offset law school costs. Did Some Blogger?
Scott’s opinion is the same as everyone else’s at RLS’s. Land trusts are a valuable component of an asset protection plan. That’s it.
By the way, even if Some Blogger is or claims to be a lawyer, remember this: no blog should create some kind of surprise attorney-client relationship. So, they aren’t your lawyer even if they are a lawyer. And just for the record, that same concept applies to this blog, even if you think our pearls of wisdom are awesome. That doesn’t make you a client; it makes you a passionate reader. We love both at RLS.
Bottom line: land trusts alone won’t always protect assets, but an asset is better protected in an land trust than in your own name. Land trusts aren’t an entire asset protection plan, but rather part of one.
This ties back into #3. Land trusts aren’t a complete asset protection plan, but they have their place. What role the land trust will play in your plan is a professional’s place to help you decide. Regardless, this lesser-known tool can help most investors achieve their goals.
Scott Royal Smith is an asset protection attorney and long-time real estate investor. He's on a mission to help fellow investors free their time, protect their assets, and create lasting wealth.
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