Family legacy: How to pass along the family cottage—and 3 things to avoid

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer. “Planning has numerous transferring items, and it’s crucial to get it proper, and it’s very simple to get flawed,” says Peter Lillico, companion at Lillico Bazuk Galloway Halka Legislation agency in Peterborough, Ont. He’s additionally a speaker on the Cottage Life exhibits. “Each household is exclusive, each cottage is exclusive, and each cottage succession is exclusive.” Right here, he breaks down the widespread misconceptions Canadians have about property planning across the household cottage.

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Myths round cottage succession 

Figuring out any potential points is step one in navigating find out how to transition the household cottage successfully. Let’s take a look at some widespread misconceptions and the options that work.

1. Assuming all people will get alongside

Many dad and mom assume that their kids and different members of the family will agree on find out how to use and keep the cottage. This can be a mistake as a result of it overlooks the potential for conflicts and differing expectations.

For instance, take a household with two grownup kids, one residing in Alberta and the opposite in Ontario. The one who lives near the cottage in Ontario might use the property very often. Nonetheless, if the bills are break up 50/50 between each, this could result in arguments. Lillico says: “There are cottage sharing agreements that may, and will, be labored out beforehand.” Mother and father (and/or their grownup kids, frankly) can create agreements that define guidelines round care and bills, and whether or not they need to be shared equally or allotted in proportion to utilization, or regardless of the household desires. 

A cottage sharing settlement is a binding doc that passes the possession and management from one technology to the following. It doesn’t simply embody property planning particulars, but additionally future guidelines across the cottage. It accommodates structured directions for monetary duties, sharing utilization issues, division of ongoing labour and upkeep, and even dispute decision. Lillico explains an actual property lawyer may help with the cottage sharing settlement, in addition to “a worksheet that helps [parents] to think about how nicely suited the youngsters are for cottage possession.” 

2. Underestimating capital positive factors tax

Some Canadian cottage house owners might consider that succession of the property will go away their kids with a invaluable asset, however many underestimate the prices of capital positive factors tax and unexpected upkeep bills.

As actual property costs elevated over time, the household cottage might have risen in worth considerably, particularly if it was bought many years in the past. This leaves house owners dealing with capital positive factors tax after they promote the property. Capital positive factors tax is levied on the revenue of the cottage, which is taken into account a capital asset. 

Capital positive factors and losses are calculated based mostly on the distinction between the promoting value and the unique buy value, adjusted for sure eligible bills like renovations and enhancements. (So, hold these receipts to decrease the acquire!) 

A loss can be utilized to scale back owed taxes on a private revenue tax return. A acquire, nonetheless, is taxed, however not all of it. The taxable portion of a acquire is split in half, and that quantity is added to the person’s general revenue and taxed based on their revenue tax bracket.