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Estate planners often recommend Living Trusts as a viable option when contemplating the manner in which to hold title to real property. When a property is held in a Living Trust, title companies have particular requirements to facilitate the transaction. While not comprehensive, answers to many commonly asked questions are below. If you have questions that are not answered below, your title company representative may be able to assist you, however, one may wish to seek legal counsel.
Who are the parties to a Trust?
A Family Trust is a typical trust in which the Husband and Wife are the Trustees and their children are the Beneficiaries. Those who establish the trust and transfer their property into it are known as Trustors or Settlors. The settlors usually appoint themselves as Trustees and they are the primary beneficiaries during their lifetime. After their passing, their children and grandchildren usually become the primary beneficiaries if the trust is to survive, or the beneficiaries receive distributions directly from the trust if it is to close out.
What is a Living Trust?
Sometimes called an Inter-vivos Trust, the Living Trust is created during the lifetime of the Settlors (as opposed to being created by their Wills after death) and usually terminates after they die and the body of the Trust is distributed to their beneficiaries.
Can a Trust hold title to Real Property?
No, the Trustee holds the property on behalf of the Trust.
Is a Trust the best way to hold my property?
Only your attorney or accountant can answer that question. Some common reasons for holding property in a Trust are to minimize or postpone death taxes, to avoid a time consuming probate, and/or to shield property from attack by certain unsecured creditors.
What taxes can I avoid by putting my property in trust?
Married persons can usually exempt a significant part of their assets from taxation and may postpone taxes after the first of them to die passes. You should check with your attorney or accountant before taking any action.
Can I homestead property that is held in a Trust?
Yes, if the property otherwise qualifies.
Can a Trustee borrow money against the property?
A Trustee can take any action permitted by the terms of the Trust, and the typical Trust Agreement does give the Trustee the authority to borrow and encumber real property. However, not all lenders will lend on a property held in trust, so check with your lender first.
Can someone else hold title for me “in trust?”
Some people who do not wish their names to show as titleholders make private arrangements with a third party Trustee; however, such an arrangement may be illegal, and is always inadvisable because the Trustee of record is the only one who is empowered to convey, or borrow against, the property, and a Title Insurer cannot protect you from a Trustee who is not acting in accordance with your wishes despite the existence of a private agreement you have with the Trustee.
Dear Faith, Julie and John,
Thanks so much for the treat bags for the kids. They will love them! We are so blessed to have such wonderful support from our community here in Garfield.
You help us be successful in our jobs in so many ways.
A wonderful piece of info we received yesterday----------
Garfield Elementary School ranked in the top 5% of Elementary schools in the state of Arkansas!
Thanks for all you do! Garfield Staff and Students
Ms. Marshall, I just wanted to say thank you for your support of Garfield Elementary! Your contribution has allowed me to fund the beginnings of a "markerspace" program in our library media center! You made my day! Sheri Rafferty, Library Specialist
Dear Faith, On behalf of the Garfield Staff, we'd like to thank you for the donation to each of our staff members. You are right, they all spend right out of their pockets for their students. We are so blessed to have people like you in our community to help support our staff and students. Thank you and God Bless YouGarfield Staff
Thank you so much for all your help with our BIG MOVE! I am hoping we love it in Arkansas as much as you do! Blessings!Dylan, Amy, Blake, Owen, and Mia Stroud
Thank you so much for all your work trying to find us a home! I loved our conversations and hope to see you soon.
We closed on the house a couple of weeks ago and love it here! I have saved your real estate cards to hand out! Looking forward to seeing you soon!Robyn and Mark Lorentz
Thank you so much for helping me sell my Bella Vista property. I can't believe how fast it Happened! I really feel you went the extra mile!
Sincerely,Rae Jean Roller