A family cottage can be a blessed vacation home.  But it can also create its share of challenges, especially to keep it in the family.  You need professional advisors who thoroughly understand applicable real estate, LLC, estate planning, estate tax and co-ownership laws.

Miller Johnson’s Vacation Home Planning practice group has considerable experience helping families meet these challenges.  Our experience includes such areas as:

  • Estate planning, including succession planning with such vehicles as qualified personal residence trusts (QRPTs), family partnerships, limited liability companies (LLCs), and joint tenancy and other co-ownership arrangements.
  • Tax planning experience and proficiency at income, estate and capital gains taxes unique to vacation homes.
  • Avoiding property tax uncapping in succession planning.
  • Boundary disputes, including claims of adverse possession and acquiescence.
  • Developing a system or agreement for managing the vacation home.
    • Operating your vacation home, including scheduling, maintenance, expenses and rules for use.
    • Sharing use of the vacation home among extended families.
    • Sharing the responsibility for vacation home taxes, insurance, upkeep and other expenses, especially where different family members have different financial positions.
    • Allocating responsibility for major vacation home undertakings such as improvements, renovations and additions.
  • Handling short-term rentals of the vacation home to non-family persons (Michigan statutes directly regulate residential leases).
  • Managing the impact of association bylaws, deed restrictions and local zoning (for example, are short-term rentals a prohibited business use?)
  • Using Michigan’s principal residence exemption for a cottage.
  • Using cottage LLCs.  These differ significantly from business LLCs and we have the know-how to guide you.

So whether you have ownership in a lakeside cottage, riverfront property, “up north” cabin, or any other vacation home, we want you to enjoy and preserve this special gathering place.  Miller Johnson’s Vacation Home Planning practice group has the knowledge and the experience to help with your business, estate planning, tax, real estate and other vacation home needs.