In California, whomever holds title to a property is public record.
Often high networth individuals or celebrities want to keep their ownership anonymous to help prevent frivolous lawsuits and to increase their privacy.
If you want to keep your ownership of a property private, you can add up to three layers of privacy:
(i) Have The Property Owned By An LLC
First, the property can held by an LLC with a general name such as 123 Main Street, LLC.
(ii) Have the LLC Owned By A Trust.
Second, the LLC can then owned by a trust.
(ii) Have A Third Party Be A Manager Of The LLC.
Third, California LLCs are required to file a Statement of Information every two years. On the Statement Of Information you are required to disclose either the Manager or the Members aka owners of the LLC.
Instead of disclosing the trust as the owner of the LLC, you can list a third party as the Manager of the LLC.
For example, a property management company might agree to be the Manager of the LLC as part of their management fees.
If you add this third layer of privacy, we recommend the operating agreement for the LLC narrowly tailors the powers of the Manager and allows for checks and balances by your trust.
Please do not hesitate to reach out if you’d like to chat about the best ways to help keep your ownership of a property private.