Having spent Easter weekend riding my bike around the mountains and lakes, I was reminded of the times I used to spend at a family friends’ cabin growing up. The location was wonderful, to have shelter and a bed was always nice, but the bats in the ceiling always gave me the creeps as a kid.
Eventually the family sold the cabin, because they couldn’t agree on how the labor and maintenance would be divided. Family Cabins are intended to be a special place – a place to gather in and help remain the family close as it grows.
As you head back to your family cabin this year, what conversations will you be having? Can the way you set up your cabin now affect the way it will be used and benefited from in the future? You betcha.
Last year in Calgary we recorded Lloyd Steier, Gary Coskey and Phil Renaud giving their presentation on Managing Shared Assets: Lessons from the Family Cabin. The three shared insights based on research, the law and personal experience on how to set up a cabin with multiple owners in a way that maintains the peace and the health of the cabin.
Their biggest piece of advice, plan out all of the details ahead of time:
- What the payments will be
- How to buy someone out
- Who can own shares
- What will be the governance and decision-making process
- What are the labor roles
- Anything else that may be important for your family