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cmcsolicitor, Solicitor
Category: Republic of Ireland Law
Satisfied Customers: 157
Experience:  and Mediator practicing in Cork, Ireland.
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I put my property in a secret/private trust with my friend,

Customer Question

I put my property in a secret/private trust with my friend, if this secret trust is not registered anywhere or in land registry/ROD as it is secret, how would it protect me in a the in event of judgement against me but also registering on my property. I am registered as the absolute owner for anyone to search land registry.
I work in a high risk business and insurance cover is extremely difficult, so I need peace of mind to protect my family home against any potential claims
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Republic of Ireland Law
Expert:  cmcsolicitor replied 2 years ago.

cmcsolicitor :

If a judgement against you is registered as a charge against your peroperyt

cmcsolicitor :

... sorry... property, then you will have to discharge it before you can sell the property. If you are the registered owner then that is it. The existence of any kind of trust in relation to the property is not material to that.

cmcsolicitor :

If you are practicing your profession or trade in your personal name then yes, your personal assets would be vulnerable in case any judgement is made against you - whether by business creditors or of foot of a successful claim for damages/ compensation made against you. If you are practicing/ trading in your personal name, then your personal assets are vulnerable. The only ways to protect them are to either i) trade as a limited liability company [if you are allowed to do that - some professions are excluded for eg solicitors], or ii) be insured insofar as possible for the various claims that could me made against you in case anyone suffers a loss because of an act or omission done by you in the course of practicing your trade or profession.


1. A secret trust is one that is not registered anywhere. It is secret in that it is only as between the parties themselves to the trust that the trust is known. Accordingly, if you are going to enter into a secret trust, then you need to fully trust the person with whom you are doing it. In order to ensure secrecy, you may not use a solicitor, as a solicitor would be bound to disclose the existence of the trust if called upon to do so.

2. Yes, you can put a charge on the property to reflect a loan given by a family member, although outwardly to all the world, it will appear as if someone else owns the property.

3. You can do up a contract with the secret trustee, to which your children can be a party. This contract can be kept solely between yourselves and the secret trustee(s). The property would not feature in the will of the trustee/trustees as it would not be there property in equity. In the contract with the secret trustee, there can be an annual payment for the services of the trustee. Additionally, the property can be re-transferred to you after seven years if you wish, or after whatever period when the threat of the bank has receded. Be aware that if the bank gets judgment against you, it will last 12 years, so it may be necessary to stipulate a period longer than this time frame.

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cmcsolicitor, Solicitor
Satisfied Customers: 157
Experience: and Mediator practicing in Cork, Ireland.
cmcsolicitor and other Republic of Ireland Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Albeit I got good advise it did not answer my question,. I have a private or secret trust, it this trust is not registered anywhere ie land registry I will show as the absolute owner on a land search and still open for a judgement

Expert:  cmcsolicitor replied 2 years ago.
You have added some more information about secret trusts... I am not sure whether there is a question in there. You have asked "would it protect me in a the in event of judgment against me but also registering on my property". The answer is that it would not do so.
Expert:  cmcsolicitor replied 2 years ago.
Yes, a judgment can still be registered as a charge on your private property, even if you have a secret trust in place.

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