The Future of Your Membership
“Sandy Pines is our happy place!” This is something you hear many members saying, including our family. Although we have been members for only a few years, we have created so many great memories here and met so many wonderful people - and feel that we have just scratched the surface. Have you ever thought about what would happen to your membership if something happened to you?
It is certainly not a pleasant topic to think about, yet it is very important to your family’s continued enjoyment of your Sandy Pines membership. Because it is not an enjoyable thing to think about, many people never plan for passing on their estate…including your Sandy Pines membership. This is unfortunate, because it leaves the future of your membership in the hands of the probate court process. The good news is that you have options! You can have a say in who is in charge of your estate (and your membership) and who will receive your membership after your passing. The two most common ways to do this are a Last Will and Testament (“Will”) or a Living Trust (“Trust”).
The most common misconception about a Will is that it helps you avoid the probate court process after passing. That is not true. A Will, however, does provide you the opportunity to designate who oversees your estate and to provide who you want your Sandy Pines membership transferred to (or if you want it sold and the proceeds distributed). A Trust has the benefits of a Will, plus the advantage of avoiding the probate court process for assets owned by, or designated to, the Trust. The key with using a Trust to own your Sandy Pines membership is making sure that your Trust is the type of Trust described in the Sandy Pines Handbook and that you follow the required steps to transfer ownership of your membership to your Trust. Among other things, this requires that you provide a Certificate of Trust to Sandy Pines. You can contact Kelli, in the Administration Office, for more information on Trusts.
Keep in mind that transferring your membership interest is subject to the Sandy Pines Bylaws and Handbook. The Bylaws and Handbook also provide additional information regarding the type of Trust that qualifies for ownership of your Sandy Pines membership and how the membership is handled after the member’s death.
Michael Lichterman, Esq.
Baar & Lichterman, PLLC
Sandy Pines member since 2016