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Currently if you hold this real estate as an investment, your income and expenses are calculated and filed on a Schedule E. This is considered "unearned" income (income from a passive activity). Taxes are calculated on the income, but the customary taxes paid by self employed or working people who have "earned" income (FICA taxes) are not required to be paid. When real estate is placed in a trust, the trust itself files a tax return. After taxes are paid, I believe you will have less net income by placing this real estate in a trust. If it is only your wife and yourself, you can each leave your assets to each other without all the complications and extra tax expenses of a trust.