The ownership of property is an important consideration, and should be resolved before the contract is signed. For many people, ownership should be part of their overall estate planning and asset protection considerations, as it is possible to hold land in a number of different ways, which will have different considerations. Our conveyancing lawyers in conjunction with our wills lawyers will offer guidance.
Buying property in a trust
Some people might choose to have a trust (whether with themselves or a company as trustee) acquire property. Trusts are effective in some asset protection strategies and to allow the distribution of income. Principal place of residence exemptions for stamp duty however are not available if the property is being purchased by a trust whether the trustee is a company or a natural person.
Some properties will be acquired by a corporation in its own right. This can also be part of an asset protection strategy or another strategy to allow for some flexibility in the changing of participants in the acquisition of the land, as parties can participate indirectly in the ownership by buying shares in the company.
Purchasing as joint tenants
Many couples will purchase property as joint tenants. When property is owned as joint tenants, then if one of the owners dies, their interest automatically vests in the surviving owner irrespective of what is said in the Will of the deceased owner.
Purchasing as tenants in common
Ownership as tenants in common means that the interests in the property owned by each owner s theirs to give in accordance with their Will. Interests held as tenants in common can be equal or unequal. A common asset protection and estate planning strategy is for property to be held 99% in the name of one party and 1% in the name of another. This allows for greater borrowing capacity by the owners, but while restricting the proportion of the property that is owned by the party with 1%. That may prove invaluable if that party is in a venture and at risk of claims being made against them.
Contact our conveyancing lawyers or wills lawyers if you wish to discuss your home ownership.