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Addressing the family cabin in an estate plan

For many individuals across Illinois and Missouri, memories of weekends at the family cabin carry deep sentimental value. In some instances, generations of family members have enjoyed getaways to the family lodge. Cabins, second homes, hunting land and vacation properties generally have monetary value as an asset in an estate. Yet, the family tradition of spending time together often carries a strong emotional attachment to the weekend retreat.

Cabins Often Carry Sentimental Value Through The Generations

Passing along property is not always solely a financial decision when assets involve sentimental value. Working with focused estate planning lawyer can help you to address the important details to reduce the risk of costly litigation among your loved ones down the road.

Determining how to transfer recreational property to the children requires thoughtful analysis of how ownership -- and the attendant responsibilities -- should be structured. For some families, ties to the family land may not be so strong and creating a succession plan may be more or less a financial decision alone. Similarly, siblings may have differing views over the personal value of the property. However, when siblings share fond memories that they would like to pass on to their own kids, careful planning can reduce strife and risk of disputes for future generations.

In many families, the land and cottage are handed down to multiple heirs and beneficiaries. Structuring the transfer requires thorough analysis about how financial obligations will be handled. Protecting the asset for the family also requires detailed legal protection to withstand future attacks related to potential creditor issues or divorce.

What happens if property taxes soar in the future and some family members can no longer afford to the tax burdens and upkeep? When multiple people share interests in a vacation property, disputes can easily arise over how repairs will be financed, which may seem more obvious than other issues. How scheduling is handled? Who gets to use the property on holidays and other prime dates may not always be an obvious issue. Guidance on decision-making processes can help to reduce the risk of future disputes.

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