Land Trust Trustee – What You Need to Know


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Land Trusts are wonderful tools. They protect the interests, identity, and liability of the landowners. By putting the buyers of the property as beneficiaries, the land trust keeps the buyer’s name off the real estate record. This keeps other people from using the property as a way to sue an individual for liability or to keep one of the partners from being able to force the sale of the land.

Land trusts are a powerful entity that people just don’t know enough about or use. It shouldn’t be surprising then when people ask lots of questions about liability and its effects upon the trustee. After all, the only real name on the real estate deed is the trustee. He is the person that is in charge of looking out for the land trust and carrying out the beneficiary’s wishes.

Most people are hesitant to be names as Trustees for a land trust. They think that the trustee can be held personally liable for the land trust. That isn’t true in most states and cases. The have been a large number of legal decisions the last few decades that have questioned whether or not the trustee can be held personally liable. Trustee is the representative of the land and the beneficiaries. The trustee does not actually own the land. Therefore, when signing documents related to the land trust, the trustee is not personally liable due to the fact he is acting on the beneficiaries’ wishes.

However, there are a few things that trustees need to remember. If the trustee signs something that is against the wishes of the beneficiaries, he can be personally liable and accountable to the beneficiaries. After all he is supposed to be their representative. In addition, the trustee is the one that has to make sure the property taxes, insurance, etc. for the property are paid. If the trustee is sued or taken to court on matters related to the land trust, he can only be sued for up to the amount of assets of the land trust. His personal assets are safe. For the most part, trustees are just figure heads and are not personally liable for anything related to the trust.

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