Planning For The Family Cottage
Many families in northwestern Pennsylvania own real estate that has sentimental value from years of family vacations or significant financial value (due to years of ownership). In all cases, careful consideration should be made to ensure successful transition to the next generation(s). And in most cases, simply passing the property by Will is not sufficient.
Goal-setting is key to successful transitions. First, which beneficiaries do you want to own the property in the future? Second, will those beneficiaries sell the property once they receive the property, or retain it for use with their children? Finally, if ownership or use by multiple parties is contemplated, how do you want to apportion use of the property by all of those parties?
Depending on the answers to those above questions, several options may be available. A family might consider outright transfer of the real estate. Or, an irrevocable trust with a family member as Trustee may provide a suitable arrangement. Even an LLC or Family Limited Partnership may provide for a successful transition. Whatever the solution, it is important for families to contact a knowledgeable estate planning attorney to guide them to the most certain option.