Vacation Home (Inheritance) Headaches Worth Avoiding in Virginia


Your summer beach memories are going to be more and more important as the days grow colder in the none-too-distant future. While enjoying those memories, however, consider what will happen to the family vacation home after you are gone. With so many vacation and secondary homes owned by families through older parents and grandparents in their later years, such real estate has to transfer at some point.

Transitioning the family vacation home can bring out the best, and the worst, in families. Proper planning in advance can be the key to saving the vacation home – and the family.

MarketWatch recently provided some helpful pointers in an article titled “Avoiding family feuds over vacation homes.

Aside from the obvious sibling rivalry issues or parental favoritism (real or imagined), there is the issue of the next “owner.” If you choose one side of the family or one adult child to take up ownership, then you risk slighting others and risk the “family” part of the family vacation home. If this is a concern, then you might want to consider creating an “entity” to own the property.

To allow the ownership of the home to be spread out evenly among family members, consider forming a Limited Liability Company (LLC). This approach can give certain family members a membership stake in the ownership of the home itself and a forum for polite discussion about it.

Alternatively, you might consider a trust. The original article stresses a few standby forms of trusts; theQualified Personal Residence Trust (QPRT) and the simple revocable trust, both of which have their strengths in terms of ownership transfer, conflict mediation, and even some hefty tax benefits if you plan correctly.

Ultimately, the approach you take will depend on your unique family dynamics and the home in question. There is no one-size-fits-all approach.

You can learn more about this topic as well as other strategies on our website under the tab entitled: elder law planning in Virginia. Be sure you also sign up for our complimentary e-newsletter so that you may be informed of all the latest issues that could affect you, your loved ones and your estate planning.  

Reference: MarketWatch (September 16, 2013) “Avoiding family feuds over vacation homes

Like this article?

Share on facebook
Share on Facebook
Share on twitter
Share on Twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on Linkdin
Share on pinterest
Share on Pinterest

Leave a comment


We have a LOT more where that came from!

We hate spam too. We will never share or sell your information.

Call Now ButtonCall Us Now https://jsfiddle.net/7h5246b8/

Request a free consultation

We hate spam too. We will never share or sell your information.

We've been putting together as many resources as possible so that we can continue to help:

  • If you’re a current client with a signing appointment or a prospective client with a consultation and would prefer that meeting take place in your own home, we can accomplish that with a little bit of pre-planning on our part and with the addition of a laptop, smartphone, tablet or other computer in your home to facilitate this virtual meeting. For those of you that need to sign legal documents, that too can be accomplished with the use of a webcam (FaceTime etc.), so that we can witness and electronically notarize all of your important legal documents.
  • We launched the rollout of our on-demand webinar early so that new clients and our allied professionals can view the important component parts of ‘an estate plan that works’ at their convenience.  That is available on our website.
  • Live video workshops will be produced as quickly as possible and certainly ahead of our previous schedule; we will keep you posted as these events become available. Given the ‘boutique’ nature of the firm, we rarely have more than ten people in our office including team members at any one time. During this period of ‘social distancing,’ we promise to have no more than 8 people at any time.   This allows us to comply with the Governor’s directive to limit in-person gatherings.
  • The best way to communicate with us is still by phone during regular office hours of 8:30 to 5:00, Monday through Friday, or, you can email any of our team members (that is, their first name followed by @zarembalaw.com).  We will respond to these emails as quickly as possible.
  • Please continue to follow the directives of our local, state, and federal agencies. For your health and in consideration of our team who is assisting you, if you’ve scheduled an office appointment or planned to drop off paperwork and are experiencing a fever, dry cough, or shortness of breath, please contact your primary care doctor for guidance and then our office to reschedule.

Thank you, Walt and the Zaremba Team

Update to our Process

The unprecedented coronavirus pandemic has taken our entire country by surprise. We understand how difficult this time is for America’s businesses and families.  However, we believe it is vitally important that we make every effort possible to continue to offer solutions that avoid disrupting our important partnership with you, your family and friends.  As you know, estate planning is not something that should wait for a more convenient time, therefore the opportunity to address your important goals both during and after this crisis should not wait.  To that end, we have added the option of a ‘virtual consultation’ to our office process.  You will now have a choice of either meeting with us in our office or in the comfort of your own home.