What about the vacation home?
If there’s one asset in an estate that has a lot of sentimental attachment, it’s the family vacation home. That’s understandable. There were a lot of great memories made there. Part of the objective for the estate plan for the second home is to make sure that the family memories aren’t tarnished in a fight over the use, possession, and enjoyment of the summer home.
There are a lot of considerations for the the second home. It’s not a good idea to leave this home to children equally. Siblings just aren’t good joint owners. Everyone will want to use the place at the same time. Nobody will want to contribute equally to the maintenance and upkeep. And the first time that something gets broken, all hell will break loose. The family relationships can deteriorate. This is truly what mom and dad would not have wanted.
I think it’s best to direct that this real estate be sold. If there’s someone who really wants to keep it, then we build the flexibility into the documents to sell to a family member at fair market value. It’s really rare that someone in the next generation can obtain financing to purchase the second home. That’s why I like the idea of selling the summer place. Everyone leaves with cash. If they really want to buy a second place in that area, then they can purchase something that’s in their budget. This is much better than having mixed opinions on the desire to sell and then being forced to wait until someone convinces a voting majority that their idea to sell or stay is better. This isn’t a great option either.
As you can see, when it comes to the vacation home, I like to plan for liquidation. It saves a lot of family fights.
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