Florida Land Trusts: How to Keep Your Name Off Public Records When Buying Real Estate

The Florida Land Trust The Florida Land Trust is an easy and inexpensive method for buying and holding title to Florida real estate in order to own real estate …

The Florida Land Trust

The Florida Land Trust is an easy and inexpensive method for buying and holding title to Florida real estate in order to own real estate confidentiality and privacy. It is authorized under the Florida Land Trust Act (Section 689.071 of the Florida Statutes) originally adopted by the State of Florida in 1963 and then revised in 2006. 

The Trustee of the Florida Land Trust holds legal title to the real property under the terms of a Florida Land Trust Agreement.  The beneficiaries of the Florida Land Trust retain 100% of the ownership rights and control over the real estate held inside the Florida Land Trust. The Trustee merely holds legal title to the real property. 

Creation of the Florida Land Trust

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Anyone or any entity can establish a Florida Land Trust, including individuals, a group of individuals, partnerships, limited partnerships, limited liability companies, and/or corporations. The Trustee of the Florida Land Trust acquires and holds legal title to the real property, while the beneficiary(ies) of the Florida Land Trust retains the ownership rights and has the power of direction. The Trustee of the Land Trust cannot act without the written authorization of the beneficiary.

Advantages of the Florida Land Trust

Florida Land Trusts allow real estate owners and investors to acquire, hold, manage and dispose of Florida real property on a confidential and private basis. There are many reasons why you may want to keep your real estate ownership out of the public record, including: risk of litigation, business risks, general liability, harassment, stalking, acquisition and dispositions, etc. 

For example, Walt Disney acquired all of his property in Florida via a Florida Land Trust. This prevented sellers of real property from taking advantage of him by unfairly increasing the asking price just because of his intentions. 

Management of the Property

The beneficiaries manage the real property held inside of the Florida Land Trust and/or hire investment property managers to oversee the real property on their own behalf. The beneficiaries collect the rent or income and pay the expenses. The beneficiary insures, develops, finances, leases or sells the real property as deemed appropriate.

Always Fully Revocable

You are not stuck with your new Florida Land Trust if it turns out that this was not the most appropriate holding strategy for you and your real estate holdings. The Florida Land Trust is always fully revocable. You can terminate your Florida Land Trust at any point in time. However, if it turns out to be the best strategy for you, you can also add additional real estate to your Florida Land Trust at any time.

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