Using an LLC to protect the family vacation home

April 4, 2024

Vacation homes offer a retreat from daily life, providing a sanctuary to relax and create cherished family memories. Many owners envision passing down their vacation home for future generations to enjoy, but the lack of proper planning can often lead to intra-family disputes. Leaving a vacation home outright to children or other family members may be the easiest option, but the potential for discord over the control and usage of the property only increases as ownership is passed from one generation to the next. A limited liability company (LLC) can mitigate the risk of conflict and provide a tailored solution to the meet the specific needs of a family.

When a vacation home is owned by an LLC, the membership interests in the LLC are passed down to younger generations, which allows for the continued use and enjoyment of the property by the family. The structure also provides a framework for management through an operating agreement, which governs the LLC. An operating agreement allows the original owner to create a plan for how the property will be used and managed as additional owners are added. The agreement can determine who is responsible for property management, how expenses should be proportioned and paid, how decisions should be made and provide guidelines for scheduling family usage. By establishing clear rules and procedures, an LLC can reduce the likelihood of disputes and encourage fairness among different generations.  

Another benefit of an LLC is the ability to prevent unwanted transfers of ownership thus ensuring that the property stays in the family. A well-drafted operating agreement can prohibit membership interests from being transferred to third parties, protecting the family as a whole from an individual’s divorce or creditor problems. The LLC can also hold additional assets, including rental income and deposits of other funds earmarked for property expenditures, which facilitates the proper management and use of resources to cover expenses. 

An LLC offers an efficient structure to avoid intra-family turmoil and preserves the spirit of the family vacation home for generations to come.  The experienced attorneys at Chuhak & Tecson, P.C. can provide advice and assistance in establishing an LLC to strengthen the foundation of your estate planning and help protect the legacy of your vacation home.

Client alert authored by Rebecca M. Cerny (312 855 4363), associate.

This Chuhak & Tecson, P.C. communication is intended only to provide information regarding developments in the law and information of general interest. It is not intended to constitute advice regarding legal problems and should not be relied upon as such.