Sunday, July 15, 2007

Sharing ownership of vacation homes

BusinessWeek has an article on ways to share ownership of vacation homes without destroying family relationships. From the article:

The best way to keep the property and the family intact starts with the original owners. Rather than make heirs joint owners, most lawyers recommend leaving the property to an independent entity, such as a trust or a limited liability company (LLC), and giving the heirs shares in the enterprise. The plans should also include a way to sell or transfer shares. For tax reasons, property should not be placed in a corporation, says Stuart Hollander, a lawyer in Suttons Bay, Mich., and author of the forthcoming Saving the Family Cottage: A Guide to Succession Planning, which he is self-publishing.

(Mr. Hollander's book is on Amazon here.)

Trusts are one area where I will seek out expert advice from a trusts and estates attorney. I'm comfortable handling most other areas of my finances on my own, but when it comes to trusts, I will go to a professional. The article gives other pointers on how to structure the sharing of ownership that is palatable to all family members involved.