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Forums » Tax, Legal Issues, Contracts, Self-Directed IRA » Title Holding Trust - Checklist, Docs, Agreements

Title Holding Trust - Checklist, Docs, Agreements

18 posts by 10 users


Real Estate Investor · Tualatin, Oregon

We are exploring the options of buying all our properties through a Title Holding Trust, or individual THT for each property. Curious if anyone has a complete checklist, doc templates, etc. for us to review. We will eventually most likely use an attorney to set this up, but would like templates to review for our own knowledge and possibly save us costs from drafting them from scratch. We are looking for the following:

- simple land trust

- beneficiary agreement

- assignment of beneficial interest

- occupancy agreement

- any relevant addendums/riders specific and unique to the particular transaction of "Lease Options" from the Trust to a potential end buyer.

- Recommendation on non interested third parties that act as Trustees. Would prefer them to be a corporate structure. We also do NOT want any recommendations to anyone YOU haven't used before.

Any tips, tricks, links, directions would be good. Would love to network with those currently utilizing these strategies for their Lease Option purchases.

We've heard the following people have great documentation, and knowledge. Anyone used the following and/or care to share the docs you have?

- Randy Hughes (

- Dawn Rickabaugh (

Thanks guys for your help!

Real Estate Investor · Tualatin, Oregon

Is buying in a THT that much of a hidden concept that no one can provide these? OR?


Real Estate Investor · Tualatin, Oregon

It's crazy to me how many people have viewed this post, and no one can answer this? Beyond BP? I think so....Sad!

Real Estate Investor · Tualatin, Oregon


BiggerPockets Founder · Denver, Colorado

@Matt Yates - I think that those people who may be in the know and perhaps missed the post due to the holidays might have been turned off by the third and last post you made . . .

Perhaps you can simplify your questions for everyone?

Seems like you want people to give you everything they have on the topic. Why not start smaller and instead of asking for the whole shebang, ask for smaller pieces at a time....

And please keep in mind -- POSTING IN ALL CAPS is not only shouting, which I'm guessing you know, but it is also considered very rude. Please refrain from doing so here. Thanks!

Quick note -- using the site's search can yield wonderful results. You mentioned some people in your first post. I know that Randy Hughes is here on the site . . . perhaps you can connect with him directly via colleague request.

Good luck.

Small_bp-squareJoshua Dorkin, BiggerPockets
E-Mail: [email protected]
Telephone: 877-831-4704
Check us out on Twitter: @BiggerPockets

Rehabber · Santa Clarita, California

Just found this thread.
I have used and closed many transactions using a simple land trust.
You will need the following:
Trust certification - I can send you a sample of this.
Trust Declaration - which is basically the legal stuff for the trust, similar to an operating agreement for a corporation/LLC - I can not give you mine as it contains proprietary info and I am not allowed to share it, however, any competant RE ttorney should already have one or could easily draft one.
Notice of Termination of Trustee - I can send you a sample
Termination of Trustee - I can send you a sample
Successor Trustee Acceptance - I can provide sample
Successor Trustee Letter - I can provide sample

I would recommend you use someone you trust to be your trustee (after all, "trustee" does have the word "trust" in it!) Kidding aside, be careful.

A trust provides zero liability protection so I would suggest using it along with an entity or overly adequate insurance umbrellas.

I have never done a lease option so I have never used a land trust for such purposes, I have ONLY used them for acquisitions of REO deals for wholesaling and rehab flipping. With REO and short sales, you may not assign the contract per bank addendums, thus, the land trust is a cirumvention of that language.

Small_be_logoWill Barnard, Barnard Enterprises, Inc.
E-Mail: [email protected]

Real Estate Investor · Tualatin, Oregon

Joshua I do understand and never put two and two together on the holidays. You are right I could have cut this down a bit, but figured the person I would want to be speak with would have the whole shebang anyways.

Will, thanks my friend and appreciate you sharing. I am looking for those templates and planned on running everything by our attorneys, but its always good to see what other experienced investors are doing.

Will have you ever work with Bill Exeter with Exeter1031? He offers these Trustee services and will create the Title Holding Trust agreements as part of his services.

Just shot you that email. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.


Matt Y

BiggerPockets Founder · Denver, Colorado

@Matt Yates - @Bill Exeter is here on BiggerPockets as well . . . perhaps he'll jump in.

Small_bp-squareJoshua Dorkin, BiggerPockets
E-Mail: [email protected]
Telephone: 877-831-4704
Check us out on Twitter: @BiggerPockets

Real Estate Investor · Tualatin, Oregon

@Joshua Dorkin I have already contacted them, and spoken to Bill. Was just curious if @Will Barnard had any experience with him personally. Friendly checking up ;)

Rehabber · Santa Clarita, California

No experience with Exeter1031, sorry.

Small_be_logoWill Barnard, Barnard Enterprises, Inc.
E-Mail: [email protected]

Real Estate Investor · San Diego, California

Hi Matt,

I just noticed this post thanks to Joshua post. I would be happy to answer any Title Holding Trust (Land Trust) questions, but can't provide sample documents.

Small_extr_1031_4c_2inBill Exeter, Exeter 1031 Exchange Services, LLC
E-Mail: [email protected]
Telephone: (619) 239-3091

Wholesaler · Sherman Oaks, California

Bill Exeter is the best with Title Holding Trusts (Land Trusts), especially in CA.

Seller Financing with title holding trusts can be learned from


Residential Real Estate Broker · Las Vegas, Nevada

Great to see people connecting on this thread. Way to bring them together josh!

Small_rothwell_gornt_logo_smallRobert Adams, The Adams Team at Rothwell Gornt Co.
E-Mail: [email protected]
Telephone: 702-349-9175
MA Contact info: 508-250-0345, [email protected]

Real Estate Investor · Atlanta, Georgia

I too am contemplating using a Land Trust in conjunction with doing sandwich Lease Options. I've been doing some research about the pitfalls of LO and have read that there are 2 things one could do to overcome them:

1. A good way to protect the deed/title in case the owner gets in creditor trouble is to have it transferred into a Land Trust when you make the deal with the Seller. The seller/owner is granted the beneficial interest to the trust. Then when you're ready to buy, the beneficial interest can be changed to your "entity" or your buyer's name. Is this a good approach, and who should be the trustee? Could the attorney setting all this up be the trustee?

2. I've also read that to protect yourself from the Seller backing out (and leaving you stuck with a Tenant/Buyer that want to close) you could have the Seller execute a Deed transferring the property to you/entity, and putting it in escrow. That way if you fulfill the terms of the agreement, the attorney can finish the transaction in spite of the seller.

Has anyone used these tactics successfully? Any feedback/thoughts/suggestions are greatly appreciated.

SFR Investor · Montgomery County, Texas

@Matt Yates I suggest that you contact any attorney licensed to practice law in the state where the property is located. Believe me, its a lot cheaper to hire an attorney and do it right, than to do it yourself and end up paying big bucks later!

Just for your information, here is a Texas attorney's article on Land Trusts: Texas Land Trusts This article might have some helpful information.

· Tennessee

Matt, I've recently been doing my share of reading on land trusts. I hope I can help a few others with the little bit I’ve learned. Chicago Title’s Land Trust FORMS PAGE page might be your best source to freely view a bunch of examples.

Thus far I’m persuaded all four of these guys are competent... Mark Warda, Anderson Business Advisors (Clint Coons), Randy Hughes and LoneStarLandLaw.

I’m in the middle of reading Warda’s Land Trusts for Privacy & Profit right now. It’s loaded with form templates and he sells them on disc for something like $40-$50. He also offers corporate trustee service out of Florida but I don’t know if he’s bonded & insured (thus far I believe FL is the only state that doesn’t require it).

Coons and his team have do and outstanding job of publicizing their service out of NV that provides corporate trustee service and you can read his great blog posts on land trusts on & off BP. The BP commentary on THIS BLOG POST in particular is outstanding. I’m in the middle of reading Coons Asset Protection book right now.It seems his value proposition is highest from the standpoint of him being teamed up with the guys formerly under BossOffice for comprehensive asset protection/tax planning.I haven’t seen that they make available any of their templates.

Lastly, Randy Hughes sells his info packages from his site that look to be just as comprehensive as Warda’s for $400-$700. I found a discount code “LT” somewhere on his site that discounts the $700 non-download package by $250.He has a forum I’ve yet to checkout HERE. Hughes doesn’t provide corporate trustee service. I’ve read in a couple places he likes Virginia's statute.

My personal biases are that I’m a cheapskate want to learn/put together as much as I can before I have to pay the costly billable hours to a specialist lawyer. I plan on doing a lot of them and don’t want to overspend on a corporate/lawyer trustee if ROI isn't there.

From everything I’ve read, the effective and practical use of title holding trusts is mostly a learning curve because just like LLCs or IRAs missteps in implementation can invalid its purpose especially since statutes and case law are STATE BY STATE. Also see HERE & HERE

The more literate I am on this stuff, the better I sleep and night and the more confident I’ll be in communicating its use to my sellers etc.

Like Will Barnard I intend to use a non-corporate even non-attorney confidant as recorded trustee of my trusts for now. Doing so I’ve had to learn what’s necessary for my states…E.G. the duties necessary of a trustee and delegation to “agents” for a valid active trust. I’ve also had to learn how to avoid “doctrine of merger” by adding oneself as nominee co-trustee AFTER the deed of trust gets recorded.

I may very well end up using local or out of state attorney’s as the years roll on…but cannot presently justify Warda’s FEE SCHEDULE For those of you that have used Anderson Business, LoneStar, Exeter, or NOTEQUEEN’S service I’d love to hear the community’s feedback regarding their cost/value provided?

Real Estate Investor · Atlanta, Georgia

@John T. and @Daniel L. thanks for sharing some of you knowledge and links.

Real Estate Investor · Austin, Texas

I always use Land Trusts for my real estate. The power of the Land Trust is incredible. Randy Hughes has a good course especially good for the buy and hold investor, but I've taken it beyond in my rehab to resell business and wholesaling.

These are the my favorite reasons:

  1. No need for double closings, merely sell the beneficial interest
  2. No need to foreign file your entity in different states as the trust is a pass-through entity.
  3. Anonymity.
  4. Save money on transfer fees.
  5. No cost to setup a Land Trust

The list goes on and on and on.

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