The beloved beach house or a family camp is often the repository of a family’s collective identity. The memories and traditions these places engender are good things that exist outside of the clapboards, docks, and fireplaces. And for the family’s well being they may be far more important, in the long run, than the tangible things. Owners contemplating the transfer of these places to children and grandchildren should consider the Hippocratic injunction: “First, do no harm”.
It would be immensely counterproductive to the family if these good things were threatened or damaged by a well-meaning but bungled transition onto the next generation. If disharmony is the result of the transaction, what has been gained? If that is the prospect, better to amiably, if sadly, sell the place, and with the proceeds stake the next generation for their own efforts. Sometimes the cycle of family ownership needs to renew itself with fresh vigor, buttressed and tempered by the values the family has kept intact.