Plan Structures Early Although it is possible to transfer existing assets to a new ‘structure’ it can be very costly in terms of taxation and asset protection. Transferring real property into a trust will result in stamp duty at market value as well as CGT (unless the main residence exemption applies). Sometimes these costs may be worth incurring for the potential benefits of asset protection, future tax savings and immediate tax savings. More concerning are the asset protection issues of transferring. The claw back provisions of state legislation as well as the bankruptcy act will need to be considered. Transferring a property for asset protection reasons will basically provide little asset protection at all as transfers done to defeat creditors, even future creditors, can be overturned. So careful planning is needed. These transactions will also need to be done at market value for both tax reasons and for asset protection reasons. Transferring a $1mil house outright to a trust will result in the former owner having $1mil in cash. Similar asset protection issues arise as the net asset position will be the same. However cash is easy to spend and easier to transfer than real property so the person owning the cash may give it away. But the clawback provisions of this also need to be considered as the cash can be clawed back potentially as well. So plan ahead a bit so you do not need to restructure.