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What is a land trust?

If you are a property owner in Illinois, you have the option of creating a land trust. According to the Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation, a land trust is a legal situation in which you put the deed to the land in someone else’s name while still retaining all basic ownership and usage rights to the property. You can create a trust at any time by filling out a simple legal document that appoints the trustee.

There are many reasons why you might consider creating this type of legal arrangement. It can make it easier for you to sell the property later. If you wish to pass it on to an heir upon your death, using a trust enables you to keep your rights while you are still alive, which is often a more preferred option over a joint ownership where you would have to share those rights. If you want to keep your ownership out of public records, then this is a good option, too.

Before entering into a land trust, you should understand how it works. You are referred to as the beneficiary, and the person who you are conveying the deed to is the trustee. You still retain all rights to the property and have complete decision-making power over it. The trustee handles any deed or mortgage issues, or anything else you direct him or her to handle. While this information should not be taken as legal advice, it can help you understand the process and what to expect.

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