In CA, are trust(s) considered to be an entity just as a corporation is considered to be its own (and separate) entity?

Asked almost 2 years ago - Los Angeles, CA

And if so, do the same rules and regulations that apply to corporations (or businesses) regarding its name (or use of a DBA) also apply to trust(s) holding title to rental property in California which it actively rents to residents? (In excess of 10 rental units).

Basically- is a trust holding title to rental property in CA subject to BPC 17918?

Thanks in advance.

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Justin C. Lowenthal

    Contributor Level 14


    Lawyers agree

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    Answered . A revocable trust is not considered a separate legal entity. Accordingly, the fact that you transfer property into a revocable trust will not insulate the property from attachment by creditors. Furthermore, since a revocable trust is not a separate legal entity, a federal taxpayer identification number is not required to identify it.

    Depending upon how it is structured, an irrevocable trust can be independent from its grantor (you), under the law. It is a separate legal entity that must obtain its own tax identification number from the IRS. If the irrevocable trust is operating a business under a fictitious business name, it does, in my opinion, need to file a fictitious business name statement.

    If the trust, irrevocable or not, is merely holding rental real estate, there is probably no reason to file a fictitious business name statement. If there are additional particulars which need to be considered, please speak with an attorney in your area.

    To schedule an appointment for an attorney-client privileged consultation, contact me at 530-231-4949. This... more
  2. John Ryan Charles Burt

    Contributor Level 11


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . A trust is not a seperate entity, it is simply a contract. A trust does not provide you with any of the protection or tax advantages of an entity. It is important to hold and operate your rental properties in a entity and contract structure that can best protect your assets and afford you the best tax opportunities. Fell free to contact me or another asset protection attorney for a free consultation.

    John Burt

    John Burt - - 800-513-6826. Before you contact me read: Information I provide in this... more
  3. Michael Raymond Daymude


    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . No. A trust is a relationship to property. It is not a separate legal entity like a corporation. Title to trust property is always held in the name(s) of the trustee(s) as trustee(s) for [name of trust].

    I am licensed in California only and my answers and information on Avvo assume California law. Answers and... more
  4. Christopher Michael Larson

    Contributor Level 19

    Answered . It won't even be separate for many tax purposes if it a revocable trust. The fact that you can revoke it at any time in the future means it is not a bona fide transfer of property from your possession.

    Christopher Larson
    Insight Law

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