The Real Estate Privacy Trust or REPT is known in some states as a ‘Land Trust’. REPTS are designed to protect landlords who are concerned with lawsuits and or privacy.
REPTs are a very powerful tool for the savvy real estate investor because an REPT is a revocable living trust used specifically for holding title to real estate. The trustee holds legal title to all trust property; however the named beneficiaries retain use of the property and any income it generates. Each property is titled in a separate trust, affording maximum privacy and protection. There is generally no requirement to register the trust. Nor are there public records of officers, directors and shareholders. The trustee keeps control of the trust records and the identity of the beneficiaries in a secure location and will not reveal this information without a subpoena. No one knows about your beneficial ownership except you, your attorney and the trustee.
What is a Real Estate Privacy Trust
A Real Estate Privacy Trust is a legal contract between the true owner of real property and a Trustee. The Trustee is required to follow specific directions in the Real Estate Privacy Trust for holding of real property in a private and exclusive manner. Properties throughout the United States of America are held in an REPT to protect privacy and to shield the identity of the true owner. The Trust is private and is not open to inspection from outside parties and is not recorded or disclosed.
For Tax purposes, an REPT is a pass through entity, treated like a grantor trust. On the trust, there needs to be a designation of who receives the rents or who bears the tax consequences. Additionally, the Trust dictates who receives the ownership of the property after the death of the grantor. REPT is very similar to a Revocable Living Trust in that it can be revoked at any time. Beneficiaries can be changed. Trustee can be changed.
The REPT is an easy and inexpensive manner to shield the Ownership of Real Estate. The Trust is a formal arrangement where in a trustee holds the recorded title to real estate without disclosing the beneficial owner while the beneficiary maintains management, control and the right to receive profits and rents from the property.