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Is is wise to set up a land trust to buy a house for soon to be ex spouse?

West Palm Beach, FL |

Want to buy a house for soon to be ex spouse to move into in as an agreement instead of long term alimony. She wants to live mortgage free, I wan to maintain in interest in the house to make sure it is not foreclosed upon due to ex-spouse capabilities (take out loans against it). Can I set up a land trust with me (maybe underage kids) and her as beneficiary? Is this a lot of overhead for a 170K townhouse in Florida?

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Attorney answers 4


You can buy the house in a Florida land trust or you can set up a life estate for your wife with you holding the remainder. A life estate may be better because it will be easier for your wife to get a homestead tax exemption. However, rather than trying to do this on your own, you should consult either the lawyer who is handling your divorce or an experienced real estate lawyer in your area.

Disclaimer: This answer is provided for informational purposes only, does not constitute legal advice, and does not create an attorney-client relationship. Actual legal advice can only be provided after completing a comprehensive consultation in which all of the relevant facts are discussed and reviewed.


If you do not have a Family Law attorney at this time and have not spoken to one regarding this matter and your actual exposure to an alimony award I would advise that you do so before making any provisions for your future former wife's support. Even if you do have a probable obligation for future spousal support there are other options regarding the home you propose to provide for her use.


Daniel Bachert, Esq.
The Bachert Law Firm, P.A.
330 Clematis Street, Suite 222
West Palm Beach, Florida 33401
(561) 653-3951

Please be aware and advised that this public forum is designed to provide only general information, to give you a basis of legal knowledge. This public forum does not give you attorney-client privilege. You and I have not entered into an attorney-client relationship. I am not responsible for your legal rights and this answer is based solely on the information you have provided in your question and as always, I would advise that you arrange for an in person consultation with an attorney from my firm or another Family Law attorney familiar with Florida Family Law who can analyze the specific facts and circumstances of your case more closely to better advise you.


I agree with both of my colleagues. You should probably consult with a family law attorney to make sure that you have an alimony obligation and if you do for how long? The life estate sounds like a better course of action since it allows your wife to retain the homestead exemption. Since it is in a life estate, she cannot sell it because she is only entitled to it for her life. Take advantage of a lawyer in your local area by scheduling a free consultation, There are many attornesy on AVVO who offer free consultations. Good Luck.

B. Elaine Jones, Esq


Setting up a trust to hold title may be a good option for your situation. As stated in other responses you would want to discuss this with your divorce attorney to make sure the provisions of the settlement agreement and or final divorce Judgement match up with the trust provisions. A properly drafted trust can protect you and your soon to be ex in this type of arrangement. HOA or Condo fees can vary from $80/month to over $300/month so it should be clear in the trust agreement who is responsible for these fees as well as taxes, insurance ect.

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