In the last few years, I had the pleasure of spending many summer weekends at a friend’s family cottage in the beautiful Georgian Bay. Like many retired Canadians, my friend’s parents spend virtually every weekend at their cottage, which they built with their own hands decades ago, and plan almost every holiday and major family event there. As a result, this cottage has significant emotional value to the family and will likely require special consideration and discussion in their estate-planning scheme.
Cottage and vacation home succession is a conflict-ridden area of estate planning as family members may have different personal goals and levels of emotional attachment to the property. The parents may want the cottage to be kept in the family for generations while the children may balk at the high maintenance costs and long drives to the property and would rather sell the property when the parents pass away. Consequently, planning for the family cottage should always start with a family conference with your children and discuss how they may wish to deal with the property in the future. Read the rest of this entry »
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