Planning for Life

7 Questions to Ask Regarding Your Vacation Home

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on July 9, 2019

By Harry S. Margolis


An old friend recently got in touch regarding his family's vacation home on an island off the Maine coast. He and his three sisters inherited the house from their parents and now one of them wants to be bought out. The other two can't afford to buy her out, but they don't want to lose the house which has sentimental value to them and is still the place their families come for vacation every year.

This situation raises many of the questions that need to be asked and answered when planning for a vacation home, whether by parents or by the next generation when they inherit the house. In this case, the family in fact created a trust that answers many of the important questions, but is a bit ambiguous about what would happen if one or more children wanted to opt out.

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Topics: vacation house

D'Agostino Wins MassHealth Trust Case

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on June 10, 2019

By Harry S. Margolis


The MassHealth Board of Appeals recently decided a case involving real estate held by a trust in favor of Patricia D'Agostino's client, a current nursing home resident who had sought coverage beginning in December 2017. The trust had been created by the client's now-deceased husband back in 1995 and held two vacation rental properties.

The Trust in Question

At issue were two provisions in the trust. The first gave the client the right to use and occupy the vacation properties and to receive the net rental income. The second permitted the dissolution of the trust upon agreement of all the beneficiaries and the sale of the trust property with the proceeds being paid to the beneficiaries listed on "the then current schedule of beneficiaries," the couple's children.

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Topics: trusts, MassHealth, vacation house

Will the Vacation Home Keep the Family Together or Tear it Apart?

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on May 14, 2019

By Harry S. Margolis


Ahh, the vacation house.

The locus of so many family memories. The place where everyone can get away from their busy lives, relax and spend time with other family members.


The focus of family disputes over maintenance, finances, and use.

How can you assure the former and avoid the latter?

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Topics: vacation house

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