Cottages can be among the most contentious of all estate assets. There is so much emotion tied up in them that they are not just another thing – they are family memories and refuges from daily life. This is why, when it comes time to pass on the family cottage, it can be so difficult to get it right.
Tim Cestnick recently wrote a great article in the Globe and Mail about the different options for passing on the family cottage: gifting it to one child, adding kids on title as joint owners, leaving it in trust, or giving each child a right of first refusal and instructing it be sold. All of these options are perfectly viable, but only one will be right for you. If you have a cottage, you should speak to an advisor sooner rather than later, in order to avoid a massive tax bill and have your kids still want to speak to each other after you’re gone.