• 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



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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