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The Family Vacation Home in Estate Planning

As the season for enjoying our lake or beach property is winding down, the issue of dealing with those properties in an estate plan may arise. The family vacation home is sometimes a very tough estate planning challenge. This is especially true when the beach or lake home has been in the family for years, perhaps decades and now their are multiple potential heirs. Who gets the home? How can we keep it in the family and have all of the children/grandchildren access it? How do we make certain that everyone pays their fair share of costs? Can we fund the property in advance?

These are all good and sometimes difficult questions. The answers are varied and will depend on each unique situation. Sometimes it is best to leave the property to only one child – the child who is local and has the closest connection to the property. Then you can leave other assets to the other children to “even things out.”

There are various ways to leave the property to multiple heirs: family limited partnerships, LLCs, trusts, etc. Each of these have advantages/disadvantages but each must be formed with full awareness of how the property will be managed in the future.

If you have a vacation home and it is important to you that it continue in the family, we would be glad to help. Just call and schedule an appointment: 603-249-5925

About the Author

Dwight Sowerby