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Estate Planning for the Vacation Home


Learn practical estate planning techniques for vacation homes.

In planning your client's estate, you need to be aware that a vacation home is not like other assets. It may not be enough to say, to my children or their descendants in equal shares, per stirpes. This creates a tenancy in common with multiple, fractional, transferable shares. There may be issues in coordinating the use of the space, or in paying for maintenance and repairs and property taxes. One or another of the children might have issues with creditors or with a divorced spouse. Any one of the cotenants could force a partition sale, probably at a distressed price. But if you put the house in a trust, who should be the trustee, and what should be the limits on his or her discretion? What are the potential tax consequences of using a trust or a limited liability company to hold title? This topic will explore these and related questions and discuss practical planning techniques that can help keep the vacation home in your client's family for generations to come.



Russell A. Willis, III, J.D., LL.M.

Russell A. Willis, III, J.D., LL.M.

Planned Gift Design Services

  • Freelance paralegal consultant to advisors for nonprofits and their donors in structuring charitable contributions of closely held business and real property interests to serve the mutual advantage of all parties
  • Manager of noncash research for Charitable Solutions, LLC, a planned gift risk management consulting firm headed by Bryan Clontz
  • Provides legal research and advice on income and transfer tax planning more generally and writes the occasional trial or appellate brief
  • For ten years, was writer and editor for a subscription website that provided daily coverage and in-depth analysis of developments in tax law affecting charitable gift planning
  • Six years ago launched his own newsletter, the Jack Straw Fortnightly
  • Back issues and authored papers posted to
  • Has spoken at several national and regional conferences and to local and regional planned giving roundtables, community foundations, and bar associations
  • J.D. from St. Louis University, LL.M. in taxation law from Washington University in St. Louis, undergraduate degree in English literature from Indiana University Bloomington master’s in Humanities from the University of Chicago
  • Can be contacted at [email protected] or 314.566.3386

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