What Are the Benefits of a Land Trust?

Succession & Probate

Under a land trust agreement, the party creating the trust can retain sole control over the property during his or her lifetime. The succession in ownership provided for in the trust agreement then becomes effective upon death without the expense of going through probate proceedings. This can be especially helpful to those who live out of state but own real estate in this state. They will not have to institute separate probate court proceedings but can have the land trust property administered in their home state.  

Identity Protection/Privacy Of Ownership/Internet Privacy

Under a land trust, unless required by law, the identity of the real owner is not disclosed to the public, keeping parties involved confidential. This can help keep an owner’s personal, financial information out of the public record and off the internet.  

Litigation & Liens

If the property in trust is owned by more than one individual, the title to the property may become faulty and unmerchantable because of death, legal disability, divorce, judgments and many other types of litigation affecting one of the co-owners. When the property is held in a land trust, a judgment against one of the beneficiaries does not automatically constitute a lien upon the real estate held in trust. Thus, a beneficiary is provided with an extra measure of protection against lawsuits.  

Ease of Conveyance

A land trust provides a convenient means of mortgaging and selling a trust property without having to obtain deeds from all of the beneficiaries and their spouses. This is especially helpful in situations where numerous parties have an ownership interest or the involved parties are living in different states.  

Disposing Of Part Interest

The disposition of a partial interest in property may be advantageous for estate planning or other purposes. A land trust simplifies the common problem of disposing of a partial interest in a property since the beneficial interest under a land trust can be transferred by assignment. The assignment of the beneficial interest eliminates the necessity of a deed.


The following is a basic explanation of establishing land trust. Please contact your attorney or our office if you need assistance.



A trust number should be reserved. This can be done over the phone by calling our Customer Service Unit at (219) 661-2792. Please be prepared to provide the following information:

  • Property address
  • Type of property
  • Value of property
  • Name and phone number of the attorney of record

Along with a trust number, you will be given a quote of your acceptance and annual fees.

The Trust Agreement must be drafted and executed by all beneficiaries and parties with power of direction. The Trust Agreement, along with a copy of a government issued picture identification for each beneficiary and power of direction holder, should be submitted to Indiana Land Trust Company for acceptance.

You or your attorney must also complete and record a Deed in Trust at the recorder’s office in the county in which the property is located.

Trust Agreement including W9 and Deed in Trust forms can be downloaded from the Forms section of this website or can be faxed to you by our office. Please contact them at the number listed above.

If you want future tax bills and other notices from the county to come to Indiana Land Trust Company for forwarding by us to you, contact our office at (219) 661-2792 for specific routing instructions.


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Q. What is required to set up a land trust?

What is required to set up a land trust

A. A signed original of our Trust Agreement and a Recorded Deed In Trust. For more information, please refer to "HOW DO I ESTABLISH A LAND TRUST?".

Q. How can I hold the beneficial interest?

How can I hold the beneficial interest

A.  Single – 100% interest; Various individuals having percentage interest, totaling 100%; as Trustee of a Living Trust; Joint Tenants; Multiple Owners; Corporation; Partnership; LLC (Limited Liability Company).

Q. How can I keep my name off of the public tax bill records?

How can I keep my name off of the public tax bill records

A. To keep your ownership private, you may wish to have your tax bills sent to the land trust. Indiana Land Trust Company will forward your tax bill to you, thus allowing your name to remain out of the public tax records.

Contact your county assessor to obtain their local form to change the tax assessee (taxpayer) and have future tax bills addressed as follows:

Indiana Land Trust Company (Insert customer number)
9800 Connecticut Drive, Suite B2-900
Crown Point IN, 46307

  • If you prefer that we make the change for you, please complete the 
    Tax Bill Change (PDF) form. You may submit the form to us by choosing one of the following:
    • Fax to (219) 662-3489
    • Mail the request to:
      Indiana Land Trust Company
      9800 Connecticut Drive, Suite B2-900
      Crown Point IN, 46307

Q. Can I put multiple properties in the same trust?

Can I put multiple properties in the same trust

A. Yes. A single land trust can hold title to multiple properties. Any assignments of beneficial interest or contingent beneficiary provisions in your trust will apply to all properties held in that trust. Your annual fee will be based on the total value of the properties held in your trust.

Q. Is it better to combine my properties into one trust or have an individual trust for each property?

Is it better to combine my properties

A. It depends on your specific situation. When properties are in a single trust, the terms of the trust such as the beneficial interest apply to all properties in that trust.

You may also consider that if the trustee is required to provide information pursuant to a subpoena or citation, the trustee would be required to provide information about all of the properties in your trust.

Q. Why do I pay an annual fee?

Why do I pay an annual fee

A. The annual fee is charged much like a vault box or credit card fee. Even if you don't have any other activity, you still have the protection of having your property in a land trust.

Q. How do I request a copy of my trust agreement?

How do I request a copy

A. Please provide a signed written request which includes your trust number or customer number and instructions on where and how to send your copy. Please be advised that your account will be billed an administrative fee for this service. To send your request you may:

    • Fax to (219) 662-3489
    • Mail the request to:
      Indiana Land Trust Company
      9800 Connecticut Drive, Suite B2-900
      Crown Point IN, 46307

Q. How can I designate who will receive my property upon my death?

How can I designate

A. Use the Amendment of the Contingent Beneficial Interest (PDF)  form. To assist, you may wish to review the Suggested Beneficial Interest Designations (PDF). Since this a legal document you may wish to consult with your attorney.

Q. Why do I need to sign an Extension to the Trust Agreement?

Why do I need to sign an Extension

A. Without getting into a great deal of legal history, suffice it to say that over the years it has been established that a land trust must have a definable term of existence. The reason goes back to the common law and the cases on trusts from the Stuart period in England that became the basis for laws in the United States. The period of twenty years has been used by land trustees as a safe duration to not run afoul of this long body of trust law. Prompt attention to it keeps your trust in effect with no room for dispute and can prevent possible issues for your contingent beneficiaries when they take their interest in the future.

Q. What is the difference between an Amendment of the Trust Agreement and an Assignment of Beneficial Interest?

What is the difference

A. Both instruments change the trust agreement. The Assignment of Beneficial Interest (ABI) changes the beneficial ownership whereas the Amendment of the Trust Agreement merely changes terms such as power of direction, contingent beneficiaries, and duration of trust.

Q. How do I take my property out of my land trust?

How do I take my property

A. A  Direction to Convey (PDF) must be completed and signed by all people holding Power of Direction, and any Collateral holders, if applicable. A Trustee's Deed will be prepared based on your direction. You or your attorney must record the Deed with the county.

Q. What is the fee for removing my property out of my land trust?

What is the fee for removing my property

A. Please call our officet at (219) 661-2792 to inquire about our fees.


A land trust is a simple, inexpensive method for handling the ownership of real estate. It is an arrangement by which the recorded title to the real estate is held by a trustee, but all the rights and conveniences of ownership are exercised by the beneficiary whose interest is not disclosed.

This method of owning real estate can eliminate many of the difficulties that otherwise may be encountered in acquiring, owning, selling or transferring real estate.


Any person or entity that is capable of entering into a contract may establish a land trust–an individual, a group of individuals, a partnership, joint venture, corporation, or limited liability company; or even a personal trust.

Under a land trust agreement, the beneficiary retains complete control of the real estate in the same manner as if the recorded title were in his or her name. The beneficiary may terminate the trust whenever desired and may add additional property to the trust at any time.

The trustee executes deeds and mortgages and deals with the property only when directed in writing by the beneficiary. When the title to real estate is held in a land trust, the interest of the beneficiary, under the terms of the trust agreement, is personal property. Since the beneficiary’s interest is personal property, he or she may transfer it by assigning that interest without the formality of executing and acknowledging a deed.

The beneficiary of a land trust changes his or her interest in the property from real estate (title to property) to personal property (ownership of the beneficial interest). Even though the beneficiary retains complete management and control over the property itself, he or she is not burdened with many of the legal characteristics of real estate when dealing with the property.

Since the beneficial interest is considered to be personal property, it is treated in much the same manner as a car, bank account, or other tangible property. Consequently, the beneficial interest can be sold, pledged or assigned in a simpler fashion than a conveyance of realty.

*The statements made on this web page and any page that follows within the Indiana Land Trust Company website are not intended, and shall not be construed to expressly or impliedly issue or deliver any form of written guaranty, affirmation, indemnification, or certification of any fact, insurance coverage or conclusion of law.