Family Cottage: Registering real estate agreements on title, interfamily sales

  • March 02, 2021
  • Harjot Atwal

                   “Some people create their own storms, and then get upset when it rains.”

This anonymous quote sets the stage for why real estate cottage agreements signed by all possible heirs are important. Consider them an umbrella, designed to keep you dry during the storm, so that you can all have fun when the sun comes out again.

This is the second in a series of articles concerning the family cottage. The series addresses legal issues and challenges that families may face due to their ownership of cottages, including tax minimization strategies, interfamily sales and co-ownership real estate agreements, matrimonial home claims and possible estate litigation. This article is focused on cottage real estate agreements, including for interfamily sales and co- ownership.

There are really two types of agreements to consider: co-ownership agreements and rights of first refusal agreements.

The latter type of agreement is usually more manageable. It would be registered on title to the cottage property to govern sales of the cottage both within the family or to outside third parties. It can be implemented in different ways.