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Dealing with a vacation home in an estate plan

On Behalf of | Jul 27, 2016 | Estate Planning

Florida residents who own a vacation home might want to leave the home to their children as part of their estate plan, but there are a number of questions they should ask themselves first. They should also find out if their children even want the home. The distance of their family from the home and the cost of upkeep may be factors. Heirs might prefer a liquid asset.

Another consideration is the best form of ownership. The property could be left equally to all heirs, but this means they would all have to agree before taking an action. Another option might be a trust. A trustee would ultimately be responsible for making decisions, but the heirs could all benefit monetarily from the trust. There may be costs associated with setting up and administering the trust.

Some people also set aside money to cover upkeep. This may be included in the trust. Around five years of expenses may be enough for heirs to decide whether or not they want to keep the home. Finally, people should think about what may happen to the home over the decades. As families grow and become more scattered, they may spend less time there. A way of selling the home might also be built into the estate plan.

In the process of estate planning, people might encounter a number of issues such as these that they may not have considered. An attorney might be helpful in talking through these issues and in offering options such as those discussed above. Other things a person might want to keep in mind while making an estate plan include who they would appoint to deal with financial and medical issues in the case of incapacity and whether a trust might help heirs better manage their money.


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