It doesn’t matter what time of day you arrive, everything always looks the same. Granted, the trees are taller and wildflowers seem to be growing everywhere. But your family cottage is the same to you today as it’s always been.
Cubby holes filled with trinkets and treasures
While waving hello to neighboring friends you realize every family cottage and summer home is as different as the memories gathered by families every summer. Each cottage has a special cubby hole filled with trinkets and treasures from sandy beaches and hiking adventures through surrounding woods. Weathered hinges guarantee screen doors will squeak open and slam shut right on cue announcing that this is summer. It’s easy to get caught up in the moment of racing down to the lake and assuming every summer will be just like the last.
My son Casey has been crossing out days on the calendar as the school year winds down into his summer up north. He’s been talking non-stop about everything he wants to do this summer, and spending time with those who are a part of his summer. Without fail, his list includes everything he wants to do each summer. I’ve also been thinking about these excursions and of how to keep our lunch dry during our annual trip down the Crystal River (see photo).
As much as family cottages and memories stay constant, change and different circumstances ultimately visit families over time. Your family cottage is often one of your most valuable legacy assets and attention should be directed to new options and enacted tax laws available to you to protect your family cottage now, and for future generations.
Family goals remain the same
It’s no surprise that in spite of our busy lives some things never change. Family goals remain the same of protecting those you love, the place you love, and protecting the experiences and cottage memories you love.
When your family begins to gather this summer consider talking with them about the future of the family cottage. Now might be the time to begin the discussions about developing a cottage succession plan, if you haven’t already, and looking at short- and long-term strategies and legal structures to avoid the uncapping of your property.
At the minimum, a solid cottage succession plan protects your family cottage from passing outside the family, solves future conflicts between family members about how the family cottage is operated, maintained and improved, and probably most important of all, avoids, through the right to partition governed by real estate laws, the forced sale of your family cottage.
Even a simple plan, which you can easily change and update, is better than the consequence of not having a protective cottage succession plan in place.
Protecting a special place
You know deep in your heart this is where your family memories live, and like a protective mother bear you’ll do whatever you need to do to protect this time, this special place for future generations.
If you have questions or need additional information about planning for your cottage, please call and also visit our Cottage Law website about how to protect the family cottage at www.Cottage-Law.com.
Now if I could just figure out a way to protect my brown-bag lunch during my upcoming water adventures with Casey….
Dan A. Penning
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