Cottage Sharing Guidelines

Scheduling Time to Enjoy the Family Cottage!

Scheduling and Use is an important part of the Cottage Succession Plan's Operating Agreement. Without a clearly defined schedule of use and cottage sharing guidelines for family members you are keeping the door wide open for family conflict and ugly power struggles between siblings and cousins over prime-season cottage use and off-season cottage use.

When you are creating the scheduling for sharing the cottage think it through. What are your family traditions, and what are the overall needs of your family?

You also need to determine two other things. How is time divided, and who may use the cottage. You have to take into consideration the reality of having to make decisions about parents, young (and inclined to party) relatives, renters, guests, pets, and the surviving spouse of a sibling.

Cottage Sharing Guidelines

  • KEEP IT SIMPLE!
  • Use ownership share "units" of the cottage in proportion to use
  • Make it mathematically fair
  • Find a way to respect family traditions, main holiday family gatherings, and how your family likes to gather (or not)
  • If family wants rental income schedule it in
  • Incorporate a way for members to exchange their time slots if they desire
  • Create and post a clear schedule

Helpful Cottage Succession Planning Resources

Book Cover Image for Saving the Family Cottage A Guide to Succession Planning for Your Cottage, Cabin, Camp or Vacation Home by Stuart J. Hollander, Esq. Attorney Suttons BaySaving the Family Cottage
A Guide to Succession Planning for Your Cottage, Cabin, Camp or Vacation Home

by Stuart J. Hollander

The late Stuart Hollander wrote the first "attorney authored" book for the vacation home owner. Saving the Family Cottage describes the problems inherent to shared cottage ownership and the concerns of parents who wish to pass it on for the use and enjoyment of future generations.

Click Here to Order
Saving the Family Cottage
by Stuart J. Hollander

Nolo Press / Pleasant City Press, LLC - Paperback - July 2007


The Cottage Rules: An Owner's Guide to the Rights & Responsibilities of Sharing Recreational Property book cover
The Cottage Rules:
An Owner's Guide to the Rights & Responsibilities of Sharing Recreational Property

by Nikki Koski


Share cottage ownership and avoid disputes!

The Cottage Rules sets out no-nonsense, easy-to-use guidelines for cottage owners who share ownership with others. It deals with everything from succession to laundry. The rules work to prevent conflicts, so that your relationship with your partners can be either as close or as distant as you desire.

Click Here to Order
The Cottage Rules
by Nikki Koski


Passing It On : The Inheritance and Use of Summer Houses book cover
Passing It On:
The Inheritance and Use of Summer Houses

by Judith Huggins Balfe


A sociological study of the issues involved in sharing the inheritance of summer houses, Passing It On fills a critical niche in the literature on estate planning. It focuses on the family dynamics involved in sharing real property rather than on the legal issues of estate reduction, with extensive quotes from over 100 respondents, all summer-house heirs, about how they have managed to keep the property in the family over generations.

Click Here to Order
Passing It On
by Judith Huggins Balfe