Why you should plan to protect the legacy of your camp

People lucky enough to own a camp or cottage often envision their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren enjoying their beloved camp, cottage or cabin.  A camp is a place where memories will live on for the next generations, to leave their sandy footprints in the sand or build fires together.

Leaving a camp to descendants gives the entire family throughout time, a place to gather and feel as one.

Without some thoughtful planning now, conflicts and problems may arise for future generations.  Sometimes conflicts over camps, cottages and cabins are hard to resolve and could even result in the loss of the property.

As you move forward with a plan for the camp, keep in mind that a camp plan is flexible.  It doesn’t have to be perfect.  The important thing is to have a plan in place.  Don’t let perfection keep you from starting a plan today.

What to do with the camp – Rental Options

Camp owners know that they are expensive to keep.  One alternative to help cover these costs may be rent the camp from time to time.  Unless the income received isn’t significant, it might not be worth the hassle and administrative costs to rent the cottage. However, it may be necessary to cover unexpected expenses to maintain the camp.

Before considering rental of your camp make sure:

  • that rentals are permitted under zoning and any restrictions that may apply
  • make sure your insurance covers for rentals and pay for any increased insurance coverage if necessary
  • have a detailed contract for any rental management company
  • make sure to pay any hotel taxes, if the state imposes any

Choose the right legal plan for your camp

There are many ways which you can hold your camp.  The correct plan will depend on individuals and their family dynamics.  Legal advice is always recommended.  Call your estate planning attorney to find out what might be the best for your family.

CAMP MEMBERS / MANAGING MEMBERS

Typically if you hold your camp in a Limited Liability Company (LLC) make sure that the operating agreement spells out exactly who will be the camp members and the managing members.  These members can vote on things like painting the camp, replacing the roof, new dock, etc.  The managing member will be the one that controls the camps accounts and responsible for the expenses. These duties should also be spelled out in the operating agreement.

Get Started

There is nothing like the present time to plan for your camp, cottage or cabin’s future survival.  Some common reasons why people avoid taking the next step in camp planning include:

  • It’s a difficult subject to broach with family members
  • Unsure of how to start the process
  • Indecisiveness
  • Deciding who will be the members in the camp plan
  • Deciding who will be the managing member of the camp plan

Camp succession planning requires a lot of time and thought to ensure the camp’s operating agreement is done correctly.   Engaging the services an attorney that is familiar with succession planning is a good idea.

Aging in Maine a practice of Kevin W. Weatherbee Law Offices, PLLC.

Proudly offering Elder Law & Estate Planning services in the greater Bangor and Belfast Maine areas.