why a land trust?
Our belief is that through the proper use of land trusts, clients benefit from privacy, the ability to more effectively plan and execute the management of their properties and thereby, enhance their profits. We hold title as trustee for properties throughout the state of Florida for in-state, out-of-state and foreign beneficiaries.
The Florida land trust is a statutory form of the "Illinois-type" land trust, which has been used for over a hundred years.
The most important benefits of the land trust are privacy and avoidance of probate. With a land trust, no one needs to know what real estate you own either during your life or at your death, and by avoiding probate you avoid thousands of dollars in attorney fees and months delay in distribution of your property to your heirs.
By using a land trust with Common Wealth Land Trust Services as trustee, there will be no public record of your ownership of the real estate in the trust. The public records will list the corporation as trustee, and the tax bill will be sent to the trustee (who will forward it to you for payment). The property will be managed by you or by your agent. Income tax returns will be filed by you in the same way they would for property in your own name.
We typically set up trust in which we are the trustee. However, if you prefer to take advantage of our services but have another person or entity act as trustee, we will simply set up the initial trust with Common Wealth Trust services as the initial trustee and then immediately deed the property to the successor trustee of your choosing.
The beneficiary of your trust can be you individually, a corporation, a limited liability company, a partnership or any other legal entity. If you are the beneficiary individually, you can name any other person or entity to immediately become successor beneficiary upon your death. If your company is the beneficiary, you can name a successor in your company papers.
Besides a beneficiary, you can have a director. For example, you can set up a trust in which your children are the beneficiaries (paying the taxes on income) but you are the director. As director you would make all the decisions regarding the property. If you loan someone money you can have them put their property in a land trust and make you the director. Then you could control the property until you were paid in full.
Florida law provides numerous legal benefits to property owners who use land trusts. Our sole business purpose is to make those legal benefits available to clients at a reasonable fee. Common Wealth Trust Services, LLC will not be a party to illegal transactions, money laundering, or tax fraud schemes and will resign immediately upon learning of any criminal activity regarding a trust, and deed the trust property to the trust beneficiary.