Dividing an estate can be complicated when one has multiple children. This can be especially true when a parent wants to pass on a vacation home that may hold sentimental value for several kids. For New York parents who have a vacation home, it's never too early to start planning for the future.
First, ask the children if they actually want the vacation home. It is natural to wish to keep a beloved property in the family, but practical concerns might make it difficult for kids to get any value out of the home depending on where they live and if they can afford the house. Anyone who receives a vacation home must be willing and able to pay for the expenses associated with it. To help with this, parents could decide to set aside money for the vacation home in a trust if an heir expresses interest but does not have enough money for upkeep.
If one child receives a vacation home and a trust for operating costs, this could take up the majority of this descendant's share of an estate. The child might want the vacation home but not as his or her entire inheritance. Plus, other siblings might still expect to use the vacation home.
Parents have many options when considering wills and trusts. To avoid hassle, one might wish to put a property in a trust. A trustee would make decisions about the property while all the children could be beneficiaries. Putting property or other assets in trusts may also allow a family to avoid the probate process.