People in Texas understandably prefer not to discuss topics related to death, which is why developing a will is often not high on the totem pole of priorities. However, estate planning is a wise move for those who wish to pass on their assets to certain individuals in the event of their deaths. One of the most challenging items to pass on to one's heirs is a vacation home.
When it comes to a vacation home, sharing the home left behind by a deceased parent can be difficult for the parent's surviving children. For example, there may be conflict if one of the children lives far away from the vacation home, earns less money or wishes to sell his or her share. This is why leaving a vacation property in equal shares is not an expedient move; problems quickly arise when two or more people own real estate together.
For this reason, it is best for parents to talk with their kids to find out their preferences. The parents can then put the vacation real estate in a trust, naming their children as beneficiaries. With a trust, a parent can make clear the conditions under which the house may be sold as well as how the children's sharing schedule should be determined. The trust also allows the parent to spell out who will be financially responsible for the property's upkeep, although it may be helpful to simply leave behind money to cover upkeep costs in order to prevent conflict.
Estate planning can give a person a peace of mind in knowing that his or her assets will end up in the right hands upon his or her passing. These assets may include not just real estate but also vehicles and cash. With proper legal guidance, people have the right to pursue both their and their family members' best interests when developing estate plans in Texas.
Source: Time, "Estate Planning: Items That Are Difficult to Pass On to Heirs", Kara Brandeisky, Sept. 2, 2015