Amanda Mulhall
24 Mar

Many families who own a vacation home could benefit from owning the real estate in a Limited Liability Company (“LLC”) or a trust. Whether to put your vacation home in a trust or an LLC depends on your specific circumstances, goals, and preferences. Both options offer certain advantages and disadvantages, so it's important to consider the following factors:

1. Asset Protection: One of the primary reasons for placing a vacation home in an LLC is to provide liability protection. If someone is injured on the property or if you face a lawsuit related to the property, having it owned by an LLC can help protect your personal assets from being at risk. Trusts may offer some level of asset protection, but it can vary depending on the type of trust and the jurisdiction.

2. Estate Planning: Trusts are commonly used in estate planning to facilitate the transfer of assets to heirs while avoiding probate and minimizing estate taxes. By placing your vacation home in a trust, you can specify how the property should be managed and distributed after your death, ensuring that it passes to your heirs according to your wishes.

3. Tax Implications: Both trusts and LLCs can have tax implications, so it's important to consult with a tax advisor to determine which option is most advantageous for your situation. LLCs may offer some tax benefits, such as the ability to deduct certain expenses related to property management and maintenance. Trusts may also offer tax advantages, such as minimizing estate taxes.

4. Privacy: If privacy is a concern, placing your vacation home in a trust may offer more anonymity than using an LLC, as the beneficial ownership of trust assets is typically not a matter of public record. However, LLC ownership can also provide a degree of privacy, as the ownership of the LLC itself is publicly disclosed, but the individual members may not be.

5. Cost and Complexity: Setting up and maintaining a trust or an LLC involves costs and administrative responsibilities. LLCs typically require annual fees and filings with the state, as well as adherence to certain formalities such as holding regular meetings and keeping accurate records. Trusts may also involve ongoing administrative costs, such as trustee fees. Consider the time and resources you're willing to dedicate to managing either structure.

6. Flexibility: Depending on your goals, one option may offer more flexibility than the other. Trusts can be structured in various ways to accommodate specific needs and preferences, while LLCs may offer more flexibility in terms of management and ownership structure. 

Ultimately, the decision to place your vacation home in a trust or an LLC should be based on a thorough analysis of your individual circumstances and objectives. If you are considering a trust or an LLC for your family vacation home, contact us at or give us a call at (781) 381-5287 to learn more about your options.