Florida Land Trust
A Florida Land Trust is a tool buyers or investors can use to purchase, hold, finance and resell Florida real estate or personal property. The measures required and benefits are outlined in the Florida Land Trust Act that was first enacted in 2006. Buyers or investors wishing to limit liability and/or keep transactions private can use a Florida Land Trust. Michelangelo Mortellaro of Mortellaro Law is an experienced asset protection attorney in Tampa, Florida, who can assist you with crafting a Florida Land Trust.
Mortellaro Law can set up a Florida Land Trust for:
- Limited partnerships
- Revocable trusts
- Irrevocable trusts
- Trust services providers
- Limited Liability Companies (LLC)
- Other business entities
There are a number of benefits to each type of trustor from a Florida Land Trust. Different groups or entities can enjoy certain benefits, and each Florida Land Trust is crafted specifically for the individual, group or other entity for whom it will benefit. A Mortellaro Law asset protection attorney can explain the specifics for each entity and how the Florida Land Trust can be made to best work for their benefit.
How Does a Florida Land Trust Work?
In a Florida Land Trust, the person or party wishing to establish the trust is known as the Trustor, Grantor or Settlor. The Trustor is often the Beneficiary as well. The Trustor enters into a legal Florida Land Trust Agreement with a chosen Trustee, and then chooses one or more Beneficiaries who become owners of the trust. Successor beneficiaries can also be named within the trust. Mortellaro Law can serve as Trustee for a Florida Land Trust.
Beneficiaries of a Florida Land Trust exercise exclusive and complete control over the real estate or personal property held in the trust. This includes managing the property, retaining others who are assigned to manage the property, collecting and disbursing any income, paying any expenses, insuring, financing, leasing, developing or selling the real estate or personal property.
Beneficiaries may also update, change or terminate the trust at any time they choose. Or, they may add property or real estate to the trust at any time they choose. Any beneficial interest in a Florida Land Trust is considered personal property and not real property. Beneficiaries may live on or otherwise possess and use the real estate contained in the trust. They may also assign their beneficial interest to another party without requiring a Warranty Deed.
What are the Duties of a Florida Land Trust Trustee?
A Florida Land Trust is created by legally executing two documents:
- Deed in Trust – This document conveys the real property into the name of the chosen Trustee in a fiduciary capacity.
- Florida Land Trust Agreement – This is the actual trust agreement which the Trustee administers under the terms of the Land Trust.
The Trustee owns the real or personal property specified in the trust. All public records reflect the legal ownership and title to the real estate and/or personal property as, “(Trustee Name), as Trustee for Trust Number XXXX.” However, the Trustee may only act with specific written authorization from the Beneficiaries of the trust. The Beneficiaries reserve the right to remove and/or replace any Trustee.
The Beneficiaries own the Florida Land Trust and retain all ownership rights, including direction over the trust and delegating the power of direction to another individual, group or entity. However, the Beneficiaries of the Florida Land Trust, although the legal owners of the trust, will not show up on any public record or database. Beneficiary information of any kind cannot be disclosed unless approved by the Beneficiaries or through a court order.
As specified earlier, Mortellaro Law can serve as Trustee for Florida Land Trusts at the agreement and discretion of the trust Beneficiaries. An asset protection attorney from our firm in Tampa can explain how we provide these services in a confidential consultation.
What are the Primary Benefits of a Florida Land Trust?
Michelangelo Mortellaro, asset protection attorney in Tampa, can construct a properly formed Florida Land Trust to serve the specific needs of Beneficiaries. These trusts offer numerous benefits to beneficiaries, including, but not limited to, the following:
Beneficial ownership interest in a Florida Land Trust is hidden from potential creditors and others interested in your wealth or your investments.
Private Transfers of Ownership
Beneficiaries may sell or transfer their interest in a Florida Land Trust by assigning the beneficial interest to another person who can be added to the trust. This is a private transaction, requiring no recorded deed or mortgage agreement. No one can discover the transfer or its details.
Avoid Probate Proceedings
A properly drafted Florida Land Trust transfers your property immediately to your Beneficiaries named in the trust agreement, thereby avoiding the hassles and costs of a legal probate court proceeding.
When a creditor records a judgment against you, it automatically becomes a lien on all real property titled in your name, apart from your homestead. Your beneficial interest in a Florida Land Trust is personal property, not real property. Therefore, recording a judgment lien in your county does not apply to the trust held in the name of a Trustee.
A Better Partnership Option
Real estate investors or others wishing to partner together to acquire real estate can do so through a Florida Land Trust instead of forming a formal, legal partnership that must be filed with the state and demands filing fees. Land Trusts are not filed with the State of Florida and require no fees.
Save on Taxes and Fees
Transferring your interests in a Florida Land Trust is a private transfer that requires no fees or transfer taxes. You may also avoid the costs of new title insurance or other fees. An asset protection attorney from Mortellaro Law can provide more detailed information about these matters.