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Using a Power of Attorney With a Land Trust

by Randy Hughes, Mr. Land Trust on March 05, 2017

 Using a Power of Attorney With a Land Trust

A Power of Attorney (POA) is the written authority for an "agent" to act on behalf of someone else. This means that if you need to get something done while you are out-of-town or incapacitated in some way, you can still reach your goals.

I have used a POA mostly for real estate transactions. Since I put each property into its own separate Land Trust, it is convenient to have a signed POA when my Trustee lives out-of-state. 

Since I use mostly Trustees from other states (not where I live nor where the property is located), I will have my Trustee sign the Trustee's Deed, HUD-1, Termite Report, etc. prior to closing the transaction (this prevents my Trustee from having to attend the actual closing). In addition I may have my Trusee sign a POA to my attorney (or me, but not usually) giving him authority to sign any last minute documents that appear at the closing table.

It is also possible (using this POA form) to have my attorney sign ALL documents (including the Trustee's Deed) on behalf of my Trustee. 

The POA can be issued for an indefinite period of time or limited by time or circumstance. If you would like to see a typical POA form, Google..."Illinois statutory form power of attorney for property."


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She Regretted Not Using a Land Trust

by Randy Hughes, Mr. Land Trust on December 07, 2016

 She Regretted Not Using a Land Trust
Last night I spoke to a group of real estate investors about the many benefits to using a Land Trust. After my speech a lady came up to me and said she sure wished she had used a Land Trust to hold title to her personal residence. Of course, I asked, why?

She went on to explain that she had some financial difficulties left over from the crash of 2008 and a creditor was pressuring her to pay her debt in full. The creditor looked her up online and found out the value of her house and approximately how much debt was secured against the house. By doing this, the creditor approximated how much equity she had. The creditor called her up, sited the information he had determined and said, "Don't tell me you cannot pay me off because I know how much equity you have in your home!"

The lady went on to tell me that if she had owned her home in a Land Trust the creditor would not have been able to determine her home's equity and she would have had a better negotiating ability. As it turned out, she was "had."

Of course, she didn't tell me anything I didn't already know, but it is always nice to hear the Land Trust advantages from someone else! Too bad some people are not proactive with their real estate protection and wait too long to act. Don't let this happen to you! Use a Land Trust, now!




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Celebrity Homes

by Randy Hughes, Mr. Land Trust on November 25, 2016

 Celebrity Homes
Once a week I receive an email from an online business that publishes information on high profile people. Usually there is a picture of the famous person's house, car or yacht.

It is amazing to me that public figures can be so nieve to own their peronal residences in their own name. Don't they realize that all a crazy person has to do is look up their name online and then "go a-knocking" on the front door.

I remember a news story from several years ago when a wild fan of a movie star showed up at her door and shot her dead when the celebrity anwered the door. 

How can these famous folks avoid their crazy fans? By using a Land Trust to hold title to their property! Duh, come on folks! 

There is NO registry for Land Trusts. So, no one can "look you up" and find out what you own or where you live. Land Trusts are easy to set up and cost NOTHING to form! Why would anyone in their right mind not use this wonderful tool? Beats me.


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Mark Zuckerberg is an Idiot (or at least his attorney is)

by Randy Hughes, Mr. Land Trust on November 25, 2016

 Mark Zuckerberg is an Idiot
(Or Is His Attorney?)

Recently I had lunch with a high powered attorney in San Francisco. He charges $5,000 per land trust for his clients. He told me that there was an article in the local papers about Mark Zuckerberg buying a condo in the downtown San Francisco area as a place to stay when he is doing business in the SF business district.

Mr. Zuckerberg's attorney had advised him to put the title to his condo in an LLC. As the owner of the LLC Mr. Z was still exposed to the public records and now the entire planet knows where Mr. Z's second home is located. Dumb!

Be careful from taking advice from professionals. It pays to investigate and find out all your options before titling your real estate acquisitions. If Mr. Zuckerberg had ask me for my opinion I would have told him to title his condo in a Land Trust and make the Beneficiary of the trust his LLC.

By structuring Mr. Z's ownership in this manner, he would have avoided anyone knowing where his condo was located and given him (and his family) total anonymity of ownership. Why is privacy of ownership important?

There are a lot of crazy people out in the public domain and some of them would love to "make a name" for themselves when it comes to celebrities.

We as real estate investors have an adversarial relationship with our tenants. Sometimes we have to enforce lease terms and perhaps even evict a tenant. This activity can lead to extreme conflict and sometimes retribution on the part of the tenant.

It makes good sense to NOT let the public know where you live or what you own. There are NO advantages to owning real estate in your personal name . . . only disadvantages. So, why do it? Use a Land Trust, you will be glad you did!


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City Cannot Find the Owner

by Randy Hughes, Mr. Land Trust on November 05, 2016

 City Cannot Find the Owner
I received a call yesterday from a city administrator looking for the owner of my property. He called me because i am the "property manager" of the building. He said the city wanted to make some improvements to the intersection outside my building, but needed an easement signed by the owner of the building. 

He went on to tell me that he had been trying to contact the owner of record who was a professional trustee company. Apparantly, the trust company had gone out of business.

I smiled and said, "Maybe I can help. Send me what you need signed and I will forward to the owner/trustee."

The back-story to this event is that my professional trustee went out of business and transferred all of their interest to Chicago Title Land Trust Company. Chicago Title has been my trustee for the past four years. Obviously, there was no deed recorded from the old trustee to the new trustee when the transfer occured. 

At some point (when I sell or refinance), I will have to record Chicago Title as the real owner. But, in the meantime, I will leave the public records they way they are for continued anonymity and asset protection.


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