The ownership of your residential and especially any investment property or business is important – get it right and you can have long term benefits – get it wrong and it can be a catastrophe. Every person’s circumstances are different and the ownership structure chosen has taxation and estate implications depending on those circumstances.

How do you decide the best ownership structure for your situation?
The first step is to talk to our Conveyancing and Business team. They discuss and understand your goals and then explain to you in easy-to-understand terms what are the best structure options and the implications for you.

Below are the most common ownership structures.

The simplest include:

  • Individual ownership where ownership is held under the owner’s name.
  • Couples who own residential property usually become Joint Tenants under their own names. If one of the couple dies their share of the property automatically passes to the other.
  • For investment properties Tenants in Common is often used so as owners can control who receives their share of the property should they die.

More detailed ownership structures include:

  • Partnerships – have a relatively simple and low cost structure but has risk if there is a claim against one of the partners.
  • Companies – there are advantages but is much more complex and costs can be high.

Trusts

Trusts help protect assets and can be used to distribute profits in a tax effective way.
The main types of trusts are:

  • Discretionary trusts – typically the most tax effective.
  • Unit trusts – often used when unrelated parties are in business together.
  • Hybrid trusts – a combination of Discretionary and Unit trusts and is often a good tax management tool.

Superannuation funds can also be used to own property and can attract a low tax rate.

In our experience most clients need a customized ownership structure that suits their aims and situation.  Baldock Stacy & Niven can help find the right structure for your business.