Many families have enjoyed decades of leisure time together at beloved holiday homes. Serious financial and interpersonal family problems can arise when the adult children inherit a home upon the death of their parents. The AARP cautions that estate planning for the disposition of this often valuable asset is key to preserving family harmony. A Wall St. Journal article about the many ways the inheritance of the family cottage without a careful estate plan can cause discord, said that a smooth transition is the exception rather than the rule. Cabin Life magazine described the common psychological stresses and possible legal solutions associated with sharing a vacation retreat in The Shared Cabin: How to split the chores, time and the costs and make everybody happy.
Our libraries have resources to help craft estate plans that ensure continued peaceful stays at the lake, shore or mountains. Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education recently held a seminar on Planning for the Vacation Home and NOLO books regularly revises Saving the Family Cottage. We even have The Cottage Rules: an Owners Guide to the Rights and Responsibilities of Sharing Recreational Property, which guides families through the process of setting up written ground rules so that they can all efficiently continue to enjoy their joint inheritance for years into the future.