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  • 9 minutes

Absent an Estate Plan for the Family Vacation Home


What happens when there is no plan?

If a couple does no planning at all for their family vacation home, at the death of the first spouse if it is a joint or entireties tenancy, the title of the home would go to the survivor, and depending on the state there may be a basis adjustment. However, while property is now held outright by the surviving spouse it is no longer protected from creditor claims; and say the surviving spouse still does no planning and chooses to remarry and now the children from the first marriage are wondering what happens to the family vacation home? Is there a possibility of disinheritance? An additional basis adjustment? This video reviews what can happen if a plan is not made and discusses the importance of having a plan.

Runtime: 8 minutes
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Russell A. Willis, III, J.D., LL.M.

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

Planned Gift Design Services

  • Until recently based in Portland, Oregon, now transplanted to Tucson, Arizona, he works as a freelance paralegal consultant with nonprofits, donors, and their advisors in structuring charitable contributions of closely held business and real property interests, so as to serve the mutual advantage of all parties
  • Provides legal research and advice on income and transfer tax planning more generally, and writes the occasional trial or appellate brief
  • For ten years, he was a writer and editor for a subscription website that provided daily coverage and in-depth analysis of developments in tax law affecting charitable gift planning
  • More recently he has launched his own newsletter, the "Jack Straw Fortnightly," back issues of which are posted to his website, https://www.plannedgiftdesign.com/
  • Has spoken at any number of national and regional conferences, and to local planned giving roundtables, community foundations, and bar associations; some of his recent papers are also posted to his site
  • J.D. degree, St. Louis University; undergraduate degree in english literature, Indiana University in Bloomington; M.A. degree in english, University of Chicago; M.A. degree in taxation law, Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, where he practiced law for more than twenty years
  • Can be contacted at [email protected]
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