Michigan Cottage Law

Cottages, lake homes and vacation properties are very special to families. Many times, generations of memories are created at the family cottage. In addition to these sentimental values, often times these properties are quite valuable from a monetary perspective. Just like any investment, proper planning is required to ensure that your family cottage seamlessly transfers to the next generation, if that is the goal.

One may think, at first glance, that handing down the cottage to their children would be simple. Despite the history and memories, it's only a piece of property, right? Well, it may be easy if you only have one child, but the great majority of families have two or more children, and most parents want to provide equally for their children upon death. But children don't always have the same plans and interests as their parents. Often, they've moved away from home and established a life many states away. Sometimes, one child has much more interest in the cottage than another. How do you plan for these, and many other possible, situations when trying to create a cottage succession plan?

Common issues that must be addressed to avoid family disputes:

  • Property Taxes and Insurance — Who will pay for it?
  • Maintenance, Upkeep & Improvements — Who will do it and who will pay for it
  • Scheduling of Cottage Use — When will family members get to use it? How is a scheduling conflict resolved?
  • Managing the Property — Will one family member be in charge? A majority? How are disagreements resolved?
  • Rental Income — Will the property be rented to generate income to support its upkeep?
  • Buyouts — What will happen upon death, divorce, inability to contribute financially, or voluntary cash out?

Our cottage and real estate attorneys will meet with you and your family to learn about your situation and goals, answer your questions, and help devise a cottage succession plan that fits your wishes. We can create a Michigan limited liability company to hold title to your beloved cottage so that it transfers seamlessly as you wish, while also utilizing that entity to set up operational documents to establish rules, processes and procedures to maintain the property and avoid the common issues and disputes mentioned above. If a situation does arise, the LLC will provide fair and simple dispute resolution options in order to avoid the ultimate nightmare — the forced sale of the cherished family cottage by the court system.

For more information or to set up an appointment to speak to one of our attorneys, please call Curtis, Curtis & Brelinski at (517) 787-9481, email info@curtiscurtislaw.com, or complete our online contact form.