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Estate planning and a vacation home

After enjoying a vacation home for years, some may realize they need to decide what they want to happen to it after they are gone. If the home was well-loved as their children grew or even passed down from previous generations, making a plan for its continued use may be of primary importance. There are a number of factors to consider when including a vacation home in one's estate planning.

Whether a condo in the city or a cabin by one of Oklahoma's many beautiful lakes, a vacation home may seem like a welcome inheritance. However, those planning to pass along their getaway property may first want to discuss the prospect with the potential heirs. The property owner may be surprised to learn that – because of the distance, maintenance cost or tax burden – the heirs are not as enthusiastic about being named as the recipient in one's will.

Another possibility is to deed the property to a trust. A designated trustee would be responsible for managing the property according to the instructions in the trust. The property owner may also consider including operating costs in the trust. This means calculating the total amount of money needed to maintain and repair the home for a certain number of years and placing that amount in the trust. This may make the property more attractive to potential heirs.

Leaving Oklahoma property to loved ones is tricky and complex. It is easy to make mistakes that may leave one's heirs burdened with taxes or other costs they are unable or unwilling to manage. Having the help and guidance of an attorney may alleviate that problem. An estate planning attorney will help one examine the available options and choose the ones that will be most beneficial for the circumstances.

Source: Time, "4 Questions to Ask Before Passing Down the Vacation Home to Your Kids", Tracy Craig, Accessed on Jan. 23, 2017

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