In doing research for the “Naming Your Land Trust” chapter, I must say I had the most “fun”. Students told me constantly about advice they were given by estate planners and attorneys to “put their own name” or “put the address of the property” in the title of their trusts. Laughable.
Here are some examples, “The John Doe Trust”, “The John Doe Family Trust,” “The 123 Vine Street Trust.” Often this advice even extends to naming LLC’s and Limited Partnerships. Like: “The John Doe Family Limited Partnership” or “The John Doe Family LLC.”
As a result of this terrible advice, the advisor’s client’s name shows up in the public records! This is not only bad advice, but defeats many of the benefits to owning property in an entity instead of your own personal name. For example, if a creditor hires a private investigator who it attempting to determine the existence of or location of assets would the advice above be beneficial to the “client?” I think not.
In fact, if you were to follow the advice above, the creditor would not even need to hire a private investigator…he could look this information up online himself! So, why do these so called “advisors” title trusts and other entities in this manner? The answer is; inexperience, laziness and a lack of creativity.
The least expensive form of asset protection is PRIVACY. The least expensive form of privacy is keeping your name out of the county court house records. The next time you are asked to sign something STOP and ask yourself…”will this document get recorded?” If the answer if YES…don’t sign it!
Find another way to accomplish your goal. For example, use a Land Trust with a name that sounds BIG and IMPORTANT (like maybe the owner of this trust is a huge company with a large legal department).