Frequently Asked Questions on Aircraft Trusts

Frequently Asked Questions about Aircraft Trusts

An aircraft trust is a legal arrangement in which an independent trustee holds the legal title to an aircraft on behalf of the owner. The Trust Agreement is filed with the United States FAA, and the trustee is shown as holding the legal title to the aircraft.

The vast majority of our clients place their aircraft into a trust so that they can meet the FAA’s citizenship requirements and qualify for N Registration of their aircraft in the United States.

However, an aircraft trust can be useful for other reasons as well, such as:


Privacy: Aircraft owners may want to keep their ownership information private. Once the aircraft is placed into a trust, the trustee is listed as the owner on the FAA website, thereby making it more difficult for the public to find out the name of the true owner.


Liability protection: An aircraft trust can provide additional liability protection for the owner, as the trustee holds the legal title to the aircraft.Tax advantages: Depending on the jurisdiction, an aircraft trust can provide tax advantages for the owner.

When using an aircraft trust, the Trustor, or true owner of the aircraft transfers the legal title to the trustee, who then holds the title on behalf of the owner. The owner retains beneficial ownership of the aircraft and can continue to use and operate it as they wish, pursuant to a duly filed Operating Agreement.

The trustee’s role is to hold the legal title to the aircraft on behalf of the owner. They have no control over the aircraft or its operations, and their only responsibility is to act in accordance with the terms of the trust agreement.

An United States aircraft trust can be particularly useful for international clients, as it can provide various benefits, such as:
 
U.S. FAA Registration: For international clients who are not U.S. citizens, an aircraft trust will enable you to register your aircraft in the United States.
 
Security and Peace of Mind:  Having an aircraft registered in the United States allows our international clients peace of mind knowing that title to their aircraft will not be affect in the event of any political instability.
 
 
Compliance with local laws: An aircraft trust can help ensure compliance with United States laws and regulations.
 
Tax advantages: Depending on the jurisdiction, an aircraft trust can provide tax advantages for international clients.
While there are many advantages to using an aircraft trust, there may also be some downsides to consider, such as:
 
Cost: Establishing and maintaining an aircraft trust adds some expense to the ownership of an aircraft. However, at Aircraft Legal, our prices are very competitive and less than the cost of most trustee entities.
  
Complexity: Aircraft trusts can be complex legal arrangements, and it’s important to work with experienced professionals, like the professionals at Aircraft Legal, to ensure compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.

Lack of control: As the trustee holds the legal title to the aircraft, the owner may have less control over certain aspects of the aircraft’s operation, as required by FAA guidelines.

Choosing an aircraft trustee is an important decision, and it’s important to work with a reputable and experienced professional.  At Aircraft Legal, we have experience in the aviation industry and are familiar with the legal and regulatory requirements governing aircraft trusts.  Vincent Schindeler, President of Aircraft Legal, has been a licensed attorney in the State of Florida since 1994 and will personally handle all aspects of your aircraft trust.

The process for establishing an aircraft trust is fairly simple. Generally, it involves drafting and executing a trust agreement and operating agreement, transferring the legal title to the trustee, and ensuring compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.

Aircraft Trusts can be dissolved in many ways, including but not limited to, the sale of the aircraft, the termination of the trust agreement, or the mutual consent of the parties.

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