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Estate planning important when dealing with vacation home

Making plans for one's estate is an activity that is often avoided simply because people prefer not to discuss topics related to death. However, without an estate plan, one's assets in Florida may not end up in the intended hands. One asset that is important to pass down correctly through estate planning is the vacation home.

People who wish to keep their vacation homes in the family so that future generations can enjoy them would be wise to start planning now. Although a lot of couples desire to leave their vacation residences to their family members, including their children, these loved ones might not necessarily want the homes. A practical issue for an heir or such a home is how he or she will travel to visit this home.

Other concerns that heirs of vacation homes might have is whether or not they have enough income to support taxes and upkeep along with other costs associated with the homes. In addition, if a vacation home would constitute a bulk of the offspring's inheritance, some of the children may actually require or prefer an asset that is more liquid. Not taking the correct steps to ensure the future ownership of a vacation home may end up leading to excruciating family disagreements.

One way to leave vacation homes to children or other loved ones in Florida is to do so outright in wills. The estates would then transfer the deeds to the children, with each of the people cited in the wills owning equal portions. A person could also pass down a vacation home through a trust. In this situation, a trustee would assume responsibility for all decisions involving the home, with the heirs becoming the beneficiaries of the trust. Appropriate legal guidance may help people to successfully pass down their valued assets to the proper parties through well-thought-out estate planning.

Source: time.com, "Questions to Ask Before Leaving a Vacation Home to Your Kids", Tracy Craig, July 18, 2016

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