Thinking about leaving the cottage to your kids? Ask them how they feel about it and keep the following in mind:
What if they don’t get along or have different ideas about how to use the property?
What if they have different income levels? That might mean a difference in their abilities to maintain the cottage.
What if a child divorces? An ex-spouse may be entitled to some of the growth in value of the property.
If you gift the cottage to anyone other than your spouse, you may have to pay capital gains taxes on its current value. If you expect the value to appreciate significantly in the future, a gift now may benefit you as the future gain will be taxed in your beneficiary’s name.
If you leave the cottage in your Will to anyone other than your spouse, there may be capital gains taxes on the property. Those taxes need to be paid by your estate, generally before other assets are transferred to heirs.
If you make your cottage a joint asset, the property is directly transferred to the surviving individual, bypassing the estate (and probate taxes).
If you transfer the property into a Living Trust, capital gains would be taxable at the time of the transfer, however, your estate may avoid probate fees upon your death.
Conversations to Have With Aging Parents
Settling an Estate
Should I Retire Early?