When it comes to vacation homes, effective estate planning often centers more on emotional factors than the legal issues of the succession. Developing a method to allow for one’s children and family to continue to use the family can be challenging.
The current owner of the vacation home needs to determine how ownership will be held by the next generation. Should a trust be established for the property or should the property be transferred outright to the beneficiaries? If a trust is established, the trust will need to provide how the home will be managed, how the property will be used and maintained, and under what circumstances, if any, an interest in the home can be transferred. If the property is transferred outright to the beneficiaries, these same issues should be addressed by an agreement between the beneficiaries.
In concept, these issues may not appear difficult; however, allocating the use and the responsibility for paying to maintain a vacation home among children and grandchildren often leads to division even among the closest of families.
If you have a vacation home and have questions regarding transfer of the home to the next generation, you should contact an attorney. Please contact the estate planning professionals at Janssen Malloy LLP if you need assistance with the transfer of a vacation home or have other estate planning questions.