Office Meeting Address:
WorkSuites at the Galleria
5718 Westheimer, Suite 1000
(Westheimer at Bering Drive)
Houston, TX 77057
© 2022 David J. Willis – LoneStarLandLaw.com
Design and SEO – Advanced Web Site Publishing
Living Trusts for the Homestead. These are usually categorized as revocable inter vivos trusts, although they can be made irrevocable as well. Living trusts are excellent probate-avoidance device for the homestead, and our firm is an advocate of these. Living trusts are often prepared in conjunction with a pour-over will. Suggest reading our web article Living Trusts in Texas.
Testamentary Trusts. Unlike living trusts, testamentary trusts take effect upon death of the trustor/settlor/grantor. These are available for both homestead and non-homestead properties. This is an area where real estate law overlaps with estate planning.
Living Trusts for Non-Homestead Properties. These trusts are also categorized as revocable inter vivos trusts. Living trusts are not limited in use to the homestead. They can be used for investment properties as well, particularly in conjunction with assignments of beneficial interest.
Anonymity Trusts. Trusts utilizing anonymity techniques are most often revocable living trusts that are used in the case of non-homestead investment property in order to conceal the true party in interest behind record title.
Trusts used in Conjunction with an LLC. Trusts in this area usually appear in two forms: first, when the trust acts as sole member and manager of a newly-formed LLC, usually to achieve a measure of anonymity; and second, when a trust is formed utilizing either a new or existing LLC as a beneficiary.
Entry and Exit Trusts for Investors. This is a specific type of trust used by investors as a means to convey property to a buyer/end user. The process involves an assignment of earnest money contract, a trust agreement, and a general warranty deed into the trust. An LLC is required since the LLC will be a party to the transaction and trustor of the trust.
South Dakota has aggressive new trust laws that allow for self-settled perpetual trusts and protection of cash after a two-year look-back period. Most revolutionary of all, South Dakota enhances asset protection by declaring that a trust beneficial interest is not personal property subject to execution on a judgment.
This strategy requires the client to either open a bank account in South Dakota or appoint a South Dakota trustee in order to establish sufficient minimum contacts with the state.
Trusts are a complex area. There are many different kinds of trusts and many different purposes for which they are used. Unless you are absolutely certain that a particular type of trust is what is needed in your case, and you are absolutely certain of its legality and suitability in the circumstances, a paid consultation is recommended so we can review your case and determine the correct legal solution.
At our discretion, we may require an initial consultation before proceeding with any trust project. View our process and fees for online consultations.
Many clients request a trust in the hope of achieving anonymity in titling real estate. However, even in the case of trusts, anonymity is not a natural or normal feature of the American legal system, which tends to be focused on disclosure.
Texas is not Switzerland. There is nothing easy or automatic about achieving anonymity in Texas or any other state. One cannot simply check a box that says “I want my entity to be anonymous” or “I want to be anonymous in this transaction.”
Considerable effort and expense is involved in anonymity. Layering of entities may be necessary, and even then the anonymity achieved will be relative rather than absolute. Note also that anonymity, if desired, must be built into an asset protection structure from the beginning.
Living Trusts for the homestead
Trust Agreements for investors
Trust as sole member/manager of LLC
Warranty Deeds into Trust
Amendments and Modifications to Trust
Certifications of Trust
Terminations of Trust
Assignments of Trust Beneficial Interest
Pour-Over Last Will and Testament
Legal fees for trusts are found in section 29 of our Fees & Policies page. An initial paid consultation may be required before we agree to begin work on a specific trust project.
Please complete our Client Inquiry Form. Our initial response will be preliminary and general in nature and not a formal legal opinion. You will then have the option of proceeding with paid legal services if you wish. Thank you for your interest in our law firm. We look forward to being of assistance to you.
“I give David J. Willis a full 5 stars for the deeds he prepared for my multi-million dollar transactions. His prices were very reasonable and his deeds gave me the level of protection I was looking for. Some people do not realize the liability that could arise from an improperly prepared deed. I will certainly use him for future real estate transactions and strongly recommend him to anyone else.”
“Mr. Willis is the ‘go-to’ guy for anything related to real estate law, especially as it relates to asset protection. He literally wrote the book on the subject. He helped me form a series LLC when I started my rental property business, and has been a wonderful guide throughout the entire process. Very professional staff, quick turnaround time, and easy-to-follow instructions for a novice like me. I give him my highest recommendation.”