Can I Execute a 1031 Exchange with a Property Held in a Trust?

1031 exchanges, named after Section 1031 of the Internal Revenue Code, offer a tax-deferral mechanism for real estate investors. But what if your investment property is held in a trust? Does it complicate the 1031 exchange process? With guidance from WealthBuilder 1031, we delve into this intricate area of tax law.

Understanding Trusts and 1031 Exchanges

  1. Trust as a Legal Entity: A trust is a legal entity separate from an individual, which can hold property. When it comes to 1031 exchanges, the name on the title of the relinquished property and the replacement property should ideally be consistent for the exchange to be valid.
  2. Revocable Living Trusts: Often used for estate planning, a property in a revocable trust can usually undergo a 1031 exchange. Since the grantor retains control and the trust can be changed or terminated, the IRS views the grantor as the beneficial owner, facilitating the exchange.
  3. Irrevocable Trusts: Things can be more complicated here. Given that the grantor cedes control, navigating a 1031 exchange from an irrevocable trust may necessitate more steps and precautions.

Navigating a 1031 Exchange with a Property in Trust

  • Consult a Qualified Intermediary: Collaborating with a qualified intermediary, like WealthBuilder 1031, is pivotal. Their expertise can guide you through the process, ensuring all IRS requirements are met.
  • Planning Ahead: If you anticipate doing a 1031 exchange in the future and your property is in a trust, consider strategies such as transferring the title out of the trust and back to the individual, if appropriate and advisable.

Potential Challenges

  • Varying Beneficiaries: If the trust has multiple beneficiaries, it’s vital to ensure that all parties are on board with the 1031 exchange.
  • Replacement Property: If the trust’s structure or stipulations restrict certain investments, it may limit the available replacement property options.


While executing a 1031 exchange with a property held in a trust adds layers of complexity, it’s by no means an insurmountable challenge. With the right team, including qualified intermediaries like WealthBuilder 1031, and proactive planning, investors can navigate this process efficiently.

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It is easy to get started on your exchange. You can either call our office directly at 888-508-1901, or you can fill out our Start Your Exchange form.
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