Drawback of being your own trustee - Posted by Bud Branstetter
Posted by Bud Branstetter on December 08, 1998 at 08:39:14:
The use of your own name negates one of the benefits of the land trust, anonymity. If you are being sued for for a slip and fall on your property in the land trust it will not be very difficult to find who to serve. If you are being sued personally, you are defining for them what you own before they ever get to court. It is similar in the case where your LLC is trustee. Most states have a registered agent that is public. If that is you, I gotcha.
Now consider the difficulty if someone else is trustee and you have an out of state P.O. Box. First you name or corporate name does not appear on any of the documents. If someone wants to serve the trustee they have to find out who owns the mailbox to try and track down the trustee. If they are suing you not until after the judgement is final can they ask you what you now or ever owned. Then again track down the trustee to find if you still own an interest in that trust. Fortunately the month before the incident took place you had “transferred” your interest in the trust to your wife. Because you file a joint return the return does not identify which one owned it at what point.
I am not sure of this last point because I have not had occasion to delve in to it. A land trust that has the beneficiary as trustee from a litigation stand point is more easily set aside as not having existed. Hence, you own it and were only trying to defraud others.