The Family Home

The family home should be acquired in individuals names where possible to take advantage of the various exemptions and concessions provided for in relation to land tax and capital gains tax. The use of trusts to hold the family home should be considered as a last resort where either there is a single person who is highly exposed to litigation or both husband and wife are both at risk of litigation.

The structure of acquiring the home 99% in the non-risk taking spouses name and 1% in the risk takers name should always be considered.


The family home is traditionally the first asset that people acquire. Due to the emotional nature of the purchase the majority of people give little if any consideration to structures that can be used for the acquisition of the family home.

Should I acquire the family home in a trust? Should I acquire it in my spouses name? These are questions that should be asked when considering how to structure the family home.

In the majority of instances the family home should NOT be acquired in a trust. The acquisition of the family home in a trust has many negative consequences that outweigh any perceived tax benefits from the claiming of the interest on the loan used to acquire the residence. Land tax and capital gains tax are two taxes that attract concessions in relation to the family home. Those concessions are lost if the home is acquired in a trust.

The ownership of the family home should be restricted to individuals. If a married couple is acquiring a family home then consideration must be given to acquiring the home 99% in the partner who takes no risks (ie directorships or business owner) and 1% in the risk takers name. This has the effect of limiting the exposure to creditors to 1% of the market value of the home while providing some control to the risk taker.

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  • The ultimate family home should not be acquired in a trust due to CGT and land tax concerns.
  • Don't leave the family home to a high risk spouse or children in a will. Use a testamentary trust to protect the home after death.


  • The principal residence in the majority of occasions should be acquired 99% low risk spouse & 1% high risk spouse.
  • The capital gains tax exemption can continue for 6 years after you have moved from the house to a new home.