Saturday, March 27, 2010

Frugal Foul - Free Land

Wouldn't it be great to own a piece of land in your favorite state? What if I told you that you could OWN a piece of land anywhere, for free! Own a Piece of America promises FREE LAND in Alaska, or Hawaii, or Florida... actually any state you desire. That sounds pretty great, right? What a great birthday, anniversary, graduation, or wedding gift? Right? Let's look at the facts.

What do you get with this "free land"? You get:
  • One square INCH of land
  • A Deed to your land
  • No property taxes!

That sounds like it might be a fun gift for a coworker, your teenager, or anyone who enjoys unusual and fun gifts. What's the harm here? Well, let's look at what you get in when you own property in more than one state.

Assuming you own property in another state (your house) or other tangible personal property (ie. your car), congratulations! You've just doubled the probate costs of your estate, or the estate of the person you've gifted this "free land". Owning property in more than one state means your estate must now go through ancillary probate. Your heirs will now need to pay attorneys, accountants, and court fees in all the states in which you own property.

Supposedly, the deeds to this "free land" are "nonrecordable", meaning ancillary probate won't apply. All records are kept by the company offering this "free land". Do you believe that it will stay that way? Do you have enough information about the company to make this decision?

What about the rest of the website? Just perusing this site, if your "scam alert" isn't screaming in your head, it should be. There are numerous offers for instant upgrades and embellishments. If you want land in all 50 states, well, that will cost you between $3.95 and $49.95.

All I can recommend is, no matter how tempting it might sound, stay away!

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