Re: Trust Question - Posted by B.L.Renfrow
Posted by B.L.Renfrow on December 10, 2000 at 11:52:43:
I have on a couple of occasions created a trust in which to take title to a property where there is no subject-to involved. Why? Anonymity. Period. Not in order to be able to get out of a deal, but rather so every Prying Paul and his lawyer can’t easily figure out what properties I hold an interest in. I name myself as beneficiary, but name an out-of-state associate as trustee. After the trust is created, then my trustee names me as co-trustee with power of management. Thus, I can sign all documents as co-trustee, BUT my name appears nowhere on public record.
There are no doubt more clever and more complicated methods to hide my interest, but this is simple, easy and effective.
And while purchase contracts may be in my name initially, my agreements are assignable. And guess who the assignee is? On the VERY rare occasions where I make offers through Realtors, I make the offer in my name and/or assigns. Then I simply assign my interest to the 123 Main Street Trust, which is how I take title. Of course, this won’t fly if you’re using a conventional lender, since they will want you to take title in your own name. In this case, you’d have to transfer title to the trust AFTER closing in your own name, thus losing the benefit of anonymity, since there’s now a paper trail with your name on it.
But if there’s no conventional lender making you a loan, it’s a great way to keep everyone from easily discovering your interest.
However, if your goal is to find a way to weasel out of a contract without personal liability, don’t do it. It’s not worth the damage to your reputation which WILL occur if you make agreements you don’t honor. If you need time to market the property, first make SURE it’s a good deal going in, then just include a reasonable inspection contingency. But please don’t go tie up some desperate seller’s property for any length of time without any idea whether you’ll be able to fulfill your promises.