Use of the hut: Ask if everyone can use the hut at the same time or if each person has exclusive use at certain times. A family I know divides the summer into weeks and gives each of the three siblings an equal number of weeks, with two weeks planned for everyone to be there together if they wish. If the Kardashians can teach us anything about estate planning (and you know there must have been a Kardashian reference in light of the title), it`s that family dynamics are on the move. New relationships are born, siblings develop different values and beliefs, and sometimes problems arise. A good co-ownership agreement is not a cookie cutter, but a carefully created document that reflects the uniqueness of each family member that can evolve over time. Each of these approaches can lead to quarrels, resentments, guilt, and harsh feelings. Here, too, the Cottage Sharing Agreement provides a structure to deal with these issues in a fair, predictable and business-like manner and to preserve family harmony. In this example, a discretionary reserve, built into the current cottage budget, would allow for an immediate repair of the septic system and reduce the economic burden. In any case, it is a good idea to meet once a year to talk about the cottage and review the cottage agreement.

Two of the teachers offered an interesting discussion about the different ways to transfer the family home from parents to children and the impact of any technique on estate planning. Parents can initiate the cottage sharing agreement process, but the advice and involvement of children is essential for success. Imposing the parents` well-intentioned vision on how the cabin works if they are no longer involved will rarely lead to a successful transition. I`m pretty sure that despite this pandemic, cabin owners are eventually making their way for their summer vacation. Last week, I shared the six questions that every cabin owner must answer. I then raised the first three questions. Today I would like to address the fourth: the rules for sharing the hut. The Cottage Sharing Agreement will clearly identify issues resolved by simple majority and those that require unanimous agreement. It may also provide, in certain circumstances, for consensual approaches such as mediation. Some cottage agreements provide for a regular meeting, usually once a year in the low season, to discuss important issues and plans for next year.

You can set a budget for operating costs, planned repairs and improvements and assign responsibilities – the same as last year, or is it someone else`s turn to pay bills, plan the work weekend or attend the maritime association meeting? Let someone take note of what will be decided and remember, meetings always go smoother when someone brings snacks! Creating a cottage sharing agreement can be overwhelming, but it can help you save time and avoid problems…