Planning for Cottages, Cabins, and Other Up North Properties

Planning for Cottages, Cabins, and Other Up North Properties

  • June 9, 2022

Legacy properties can complicate Estate Planning, particularly when there are multiple heirs to consider. Watch Attorney Justin Randall's appearance on WFRV's Local 5 Live for important information about planning for your cottage.

Jordan Lamers: Welcome back, everybody. It's up north season and you'll need to plan ahead if you want to keep that property in your family.

Millaine Wells: Attorney Justin Randall is here from Hooper Law office. Good morning to you, Justin.

Justin Randall: Good morning.

Millaine Wells: Why is including your cabin or cottage or that property so important in your Estate Plan?

Justin Randall: You know, cabin properties tend to be those legacy properties that people keep for generations. And there's also a lot of things that can create problems if you don't plan for them properly. Things like, you know, how do you pay for expenses? Who gets to use the property and when? And what happens if somebody wants out of ownership? How do they value that? How do they get out? Right.

Jordan Lamers: A lot of questions there. And I know a lot of families around, you know, my friends and family owned cottages, too. It's like if somebody passes away or whatnot and they're the owner, what are people fighting over the most? How do you how do you go ahead and figure that out?

Justin Randall: Yeah. So, I mean, first and foremost, people always try to, you know, keep it in their Estate Plan and plan for it there, but they don't always plan for those sorts of disputes. And it's really, really important to make sure that you get the family together and, you know, always make sure, you know, who wants to use the property, who wants to be involved, and then have the discussions about what kinds of disputes may come up. Now, rather than let the family have those discussions later, because it's much easier to have disagreements about it now while you're still living than it is for them to try to deal with that afterwards.

Millaine Wells: What is the difference between overall Estate Planning and something like a Cottage Plan?

Justin Randall: Yeah, so I mean, Estate Planning is for your general assets, making sure you know where you want those to go. Protecting those that you love doing. You know, general planning. In that sense, cabin planning is more involved with management. You know, expenses, ownership in general and how that ownership can pass after you're gone, it's really providing more of almost in some sense, a business like structure of how to deal with those sorts of difficulties.

Jordan Lamers: Obviously, it's really easy to come talk to you, but you have some books here, maybe some good reading material before they show up, right?

Justin Randall: Absolutely. Yeah. So our green book there is our general Estate Planning, you know, Wills and Trusts, Powers of Attorney, all of that. And then our gray book is on Long Term Care more specifically. And we do talk about Cabin Planning in those books as well. They're very easy question and answer style to read. So I hear good things about, you know, people who come in and tell me they read them. 

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