Home & Leisure

House Calls: Change the Locks

Edith Lank on

In any event, is your son at all in a position to take over those chores next year?

If you still want to use the cottage but are not up to the work, why not hire a maintenance crew? One of the local real estate agents will know where that's available.

Or, if you no longer want to use the cottage, I suppose you could hire an agent to rent it out till your son is ready to take over -- assuming he will still want it 15 years from now.

As far as the IRS is concerned, each of you can give each of your children an annual gift of $14,000 per year. Beyond that, you should report the gift, but there's no actual tax. The rest would be subtracted from what you could leave tax-free when you die. For the Feds, that's currently more than $5 million.

You didn't say whether the cottage is located in a state that levies a gift tax, though. Nor do we know any of the dollar amounts involved. It may be time to consult a lawyer who specializes in estate planning.

Golf Course Cozy


Dear Edith: In response to your reader fed up with the homeowner's association and its cozy relationship with the owners of the neighboring golf course: As a former HOA board member, it sounds as if the HOA board members may have a conflict of interest between their relationship with the golf course and their fiduciary duty to the HOA.

The reader may want to check the HOA bylaws or other governing documents to see whether there is a policy on conflicts of interest. I'm not sure what the reader would do if the board weren't following policy. Maybe complain to the state attorney general? Just a thought. --

Answer: As it happens, that reader was putting his apartment on the market anyhow, so I don't suppose he was in the mood to follow through with a complaint.


Contact Edith Lank at, at or at 240 Hemingway Drive, Rochester NY 14620.

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