Many Utah families have fond memories of spending time together at a "family cabin." Whether it's up at Sundance, Bear Lake, Heber, Park City, or any other number of beautiful locations throughout the country, a family cabin often is a repository for a wealth of happy memories. Because of these frequently strong sentimental attachments to vacation homes, those who own them often want to ensure that the cabin stays within the family and will continue to be used over generations to keep family members close to one another. However, harmonious use of such properties can often go quickly awry without proper "cottage planning."
What is "cottage planning?" First and foremost, it is recognizing that a family cabin is a much different asset than a typical asset passed on through a traditional trust-based estate plan. Once you recognize that, then cottage planning can focus on designing and implementing a plan for the successful transition of a cherished family vacation property to future generations. If done properly, you can greatly increase the chances that the family cabin will stay within the family and be used for its intended purpose - to maintain and strengthen family relationships.
Unfortunately, many family cabin owners never think about the numerous pitfalls that lurk in the shadows when it comes to passing on the family cabin.