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How to Hand Down a Family Vacation Home

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By Amy Hoak

But 39 percent of owners who rent out their homes said they originally purchased their vacation home for personal use, according to the HomeAway survey. When family members own a home together, there can be varied opinions on whether it should be rented out, Goffe said.

“Even when there is no other option because you need to raise money to pay for it, there are people who think it’s sacred property,” she said.

If all this planning feels like you’re treating the home like a business, you’re on the right track. This mission statement should be formal and set some structure for how the home will be used, Allred said.

Handing Down Property: Property can be handed down through an irrevocable trust, or by creating a limited liability company, in which the grantors gift shares.

Or, as a way to test the situation out, families can set up a revocable trust while the owners are still alive. It’s like inheriting the home with “training wheels,” incorporating rules for how the family can use and operate the cabin, she said. “If the family just can’t get along, then the trust can be revoked and/or the property sold,” Goffe added.

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