How to navigate the emotional minefield of transitioning the family cottage

Globe & Mail
May 18, 2022

For many Canadians, the family cottage is much more than a financial asset – it’s home to years of cherished memories and a much-needed respite from busy city living.

Jumping in the lake before breakfast, getting ice cream “from that one place in town,” roasting marshmallows by the campfire, and the tranquility felt among star-filled skies are just some of the precious memories many families have made at the cottage. Those moments underscore why even asking the question – “What will we do with the family cottage?”– evokes powerful emotions from family members.

“We’ll just give it to our kids” is a typical response from parents starting to think about their cottage succession plan. However, that doesn’t scratch the surface of everything that needs to be considered, such as family dynamics, scheduling, spouses, maintenance, and of course, who can afford the cottage and its upkeep.

An advisor’s guidance around cottage succession plans should be rooted in maintaining family harmony and teaching clients about all their options.

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