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Purchasing as trustee

transfer to the buyer of the house key of hands

Reap the benefits, not the consequences!

Trusts and self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs) are becoming increasingly popular structures for the purchase of properties, particularly where investment properties are concerned. This is largely due to the asset protection, tax and Estate Planning opportunities associated with such structures.


Unfortunately, we regularly see these benefits overshadowed by the tax and stamp duty consequences (such as the payment of double transfer duty) from incorrect purchasing details being recorded on contracts. These downfalls are easy to avoid, but occur often.

If you, or your clients, are purchasing a property as a corporate or individual trustee of an SMSF or a trust (e.g. family, discretionary or unit trust), there are a few steps you should consider prior to signing a contract:

  1. Consult an accountant and a lawyer to ensure that the correct entity is purchasing the property. This is particularly important where there is a SMSF and a limited recourse borrowing arrangement.
  2. Ensure that all trust documents are in order. A lawyer and an accountant can provide assistance in this regard, particularly to ensure that the trust deed records the information you think it does.
  3. Consult a lawyer to ensure that the trust details are correctly recorded on the draft contract. We recommend a discussion with your lawyer takes place before the contract is even drafted.

Buyers and/or their agents can call us on 07 3223 6100 to discuss these matters before a contract is signed. We have experienced lawyers in the fields of property, trusts, tax, asset protection and business and succession planning available to ensure your transaction is as smooth as possible.

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