Do you have a plan when it comes to real estate asset protection? You should. Consider this: the value of your real estate holdings may be significant and can be used to cover damages awarded in a lawsuit. The following 4 elements will help protect your investment in order to minimize such risk.
- Privacy of Ownership
Don’t leave a property in your own name. Establish a land trust to hold the title to your property instead. Before a law firm makes a plan to pursue an individual, they usually run an asset check to see what is within reach. This is as simple as searching public records to see what you own. Thus, with your property titled to a properly drafted land trust, your name won’t come up in a routine asset search. But, you can still sell, rent or refinance the property as you wish.
- Asset & Liability Protection
For asset protection and limiting internal liability, establish a limited liability company or LLC. Make the LLC the beneficiary of the land trust holding the title to your investment property. Use a land trust alone for your personal residence.
- Equity Stripping
Set up a separate LLC to mortgage the equity in your investment property as a powerful deterrent to creditors. This is a publicly recorded equity line of credit type of mortgage or deed of trust recorded in the county recorder’s office against each property. Doing this strips the equity out of your properties making it impossible for someone to make a claim on that money.
- Estate Planning
Establish a living trust and take the beneficiary entities, such as LLCs, putting them into the living trust. This allows you to specify exactly who or what receives your assets upon death. It can also reduce probate costs and could substantially reduce estate taxes. At this point, you have placed your investment property into land trusts.
As you can see, using the right tools in your quest for real estate asset legal protection can actually mitigate your liability. For a legal opponent planning to pursue your assets, you have placed multiple roadblocks. Of course, before implementing any of these tools, consult your legal or financial counsel.
You won’t find any roadblocks if you work with me for any of your real estate needs in Montecito, Hope Ranch or any of Santa Barbara’s upscale communities. Please call me at 805.886.9378 or email me at Cristal@montecito-estate.com. And I’ll happily add your property to my exclusive portfolio, find you the perfect investment property or even help you protect your new dream home!