Most couples who purchase a home together, traditionally would buy the home as joint tenants. This means that if one person dies, their interest in the property automatically moves to the surviving spouse.

However, as professional negligence lawsuits have become commonplace, particularly against doctors, vets, accountants and even solicitors, professionals would be wise to consider purchasing their home as tenants-in-common.

Consider this scenario; Sally and Ben are joint tenants in the family home. Sally is a doctor, who is being personally sued for alleged malpractice. Unfortunately Ben passes away. As the survivor under the joint tenancy, Sally now solely owns the family home, which means it is fully exposed to the malpractice lawsuit.

Had they been tenants-in-common, Ben’s half share of the family home could have been nominated to pass to their children, in which case that half share of the house could not be pursued under the negligence suit.

If you or your partner work in a profession at a medium to high risk of being sued, asset protection strategies should be in place. Before you buy any asset we strongly recommend you obtain some legal advice.

For more information on asset protection strategies, contact Angela on 9908 9888 or