Buying a property in the name of 1 spouse for asset protection reasons A common asset protection strategy is for a couple to buy the main residence in the name of the spouse least at risk of becoming bankrupt. The idea is if the other spouse, the the risk taker, ever becomes bankrupt then the house will be safe. The house will certainly be much safer from creditors in this situation, but it will not be unattackable because it could be argued that the spouse that owns the house owns 50% or more of it as trustee for the risk taker spouse. This argument will be strong if the safe spouse is a non working stay at home spouse while the risk taker is the money earner. The risk taker may have contributed the deposit to the property, she or he may be on the loan (even though not on title) and he or she may pay the loan repayments in part of in full. There is a rebuttable presumption that a person paying for a property is the beneficial owner (Resulting Trust). Therefore the courts will be open to find that a resulting trust or a constructive trust exists for the risk taker spouse, even though no formal trust deed has been established. This means that if the risk taker were to become bankrupt a trustee in bankruptcy could potentially take part of the house - 50% usually, but potentially more. To make the asset protection stronger make sure all the loan repayments are paid for by the owner spouse and not the non owner. This may be hard to do if the owner has no income. It may be possible to divert income to the owner spouse through trusts, employment etc, or gifting (but gifts will be subject to claw back on bankruptcy for at least 4 years). This is a simple asset protection strategy which costs virtually nothing to implement.