If you have a vacation home, whether it’s located here in California or in another state, you may want to leave it to your heirs after you pass away. But, what you thought of as a wonderful gift can turn into their worst nightmare if you are not careful. Here are three critical questions that an Orange County estate attorney would advise you to ask before leaving a vacation home to the people you love.
Do your heirs want the property?
First and foremost, it is important that you make sure that your heirs want the property that you are leaving. Your child may have loved the cabin in the woods when they were 10, but do they have the time or inclination to visit now? Please have a frank conversation with them to make sure they want to take on the responsibility of another home. If they are not interested in keeping and maintaining the property, it is best to leave instructions to sell the property after you pass away.
How much will the property cost your heirs?
Inheriting property comes with hefty costs such as property taxes, maintenance and potentially a mortgage. If your heirs are not prepared to absorb those costs, you may choose to set aside money for these costs or sell the property upon your death.
Who do you leave the property to?
If you have more than one heir, sharing a property may become an issue. The decision about who uses the property and when could become a problem; especially over the summer or on holiday weekends. You could also have one heir that is more prepared for the financial burden and your less financially stable heir may miss out on the vacation property due to inability to keep up with the cost.
If you have a vacation property that you would like to leave to the people you love, there are several ways to accomplish this without leaving a burden on them. Just schedule a call with us at (949) 260-1400 and we can help you find the best course of action for you and your family.