Land Trust


DEFINITION of 'Land Trust'

A legal agreement where a trustee is appointed to maintain ownership of a piece of real property for the benefit of another party: namely, the beneficiary of the trust. Land trusts are used by several different types of organizations for several reasons; nonprofit entities use them to hold conservation easements, and corporations and investment groups use them to accumulate large portions of land.

These agreements can also be known as Illinois-type land trusts.


Corporations and other institutional buyers sometimes use these trusts to discreetly purchase large tracts of land so as to avoid publicity. Publicity could cause the price of further land purchases to increase and potentially disrupt the firm's plans for developing or profiting from the land. Individuals usually use land trusts for privacy and to avoid probate.

  1. Land Flip

    A fraudulent practice in the real estate business of selling ...
  2. Land Contract

    An agreement between a buyer and seller of property in which ...
  3. Fiduciary Risk

    A type of risk that accounts for the possibility of a trustee/agent ...
  4. Land Lease Option

    An option within a lease contract that grants the lessee the ...
  5. Trustee

    A person or firm that holds or administers property or assets ...
  6. Letter of Intent - LOI

    A document outlining the terms of an agreement before it is finalized. ...
Related Articles
  1. Retirement

    Should You Buy Property On Leased Land?

    Find out what to consider before investing in a leased-land property.
  2. Home & Auto

    Simple Ways To Invest In Real Estate

    Owning property isn't always easy, but there are plenty of perks. Find out how to buy in.
  3. Home & Auto

    Uncover The Next Real Estate Hot Spot

    Real estate land speculation is a way to get in on a hot investment before a boom hits.
  4. Home & Auto

    Exploring Real Estate Investments

    Discover how owning properties can give you a roof over your head or a check in your pocket.
  5. Savings

    Passing Down Values and Money to the Next Generation

    Amassing wealth to pass down to your kids is great unless your values don't come with it. A priceless gift is teaching them to be financially responsible.
  6. Investing

    Estate Planning for Singles

    Now that singles dominate the population, it's important they understand the essentials of estate planning for indivdiuals.
  7. Investing

    5 Ways to Reduce Your Taxes After a Windfall Gain

    Windfall income is a welcome padding to any bank account, but plan for the government's share before you start spending.
  8. Retirement

    How Are 401(k) Withdrawals Taxed for Nonresidents?

    As a U.S. nonresident, deciding what to do with your 401(k) after you return home comes down to which tax penalties, if any, you're willing to incur.
  9. Taxes

    Here's How to Deduct Your Stock Losses From Your Tax Bill

    Learn the proper procedure for deducting stock investing losses, and get some tips on how to strategically take losses to lower your income tax bill.
  10. Retirement

    Why Some Celebs Say 'No Inheritance for My Kids'

    To some of the super rich, inherited wealth is not the ultimate gift, it's a burden. Here's how their children—as well as charities—stand to benefit.
  1. Why is the Cayman Islands considered a tax haven?

    The Cayman Islands is one of the most well-known tax havens in the world. Unlike most countries, the Cayman Islands does ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Why is Luxembourg considered a tax haven?

    Luxembourg has been the tax haven of choice for many corporations and mega-rich individuals around the world since the 197 ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Why is Panama considered a tax haven?

    The Republic of Panama is considered one of the most well-established pure tax havens in the Caribbean due to extensive legislation ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Why is Andorra considered a tax haven?

    Andorra is one of many locations around the globe considered a tax haven because of its relatively lenient tax laws. However, ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Can I put my IRA in a trust?

    You cannot put your IRA in a trust while you are living. You can, however, name a trust as the beneficiary of your IRA and ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. How does the trust maker transfer funds into a revocable trust?

    Once a revocable trust is created, a trust maker transfers funds or property into the trust by including them in a list with ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Zero-Sum Game

    A situation in which one person’s gain is equivalent to another’s loss, so that the net change in wealth or benefit is zero. ...
  2. Capitalization Rate

    The rate of return on a real estate investment property based on the income that the property is expected to generate.
  3. Gross Profit

    A company's total revenue (equivalent to total sales) minus the cost of goods sold. Gross profit is the profit a company ...
  4. Revenue

    The amount of money that a company actually receives during a specific period, including discounts and deductions for returned ...
  5. Normal Profit

    An economic condition occurring when the difference between a firm’s total revenue and total cost is equal to zero.
  6. Operating Cost

    Expenses associated with the maintenance and administration of a business on a day-to-day basis.
Trading Center
You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!