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What to do with the timeshare you just inherited

Wyndham Bonnet Creek, Orlando Florida

James and Barbara Martin, avid timeshare owners, safeguarded their daughters from inheriting unwanted vacation obligations by creating a trust. This legal arrangement allows the daughters, who are co-trustees, the flexibility to decide whether to keep, sell, or abandon the timeshares after their parents' passing, without incurring personal liability for any associated fees.

While creating a trust is one approach, timeshare experts suggest that families have various options to prevent inheriting a parent's timeshare burden. Timeshares, resembling more of a "right to use" contract than traditional real estate deeds, come with annual maintenance fees and potential ongoing costs. However, experts reassure that timeshare companies rarely pursue heirs for unpaid fees. Here are some key points to consider.

Timeshares Aren't for Life:

Owners can explore options to sell or gift their timeshares before death, especially if it's evident that heirs have no interest.

For owners unable to travel, requesting the resort to take back the timeshare is a viable option. Abandoning the timeshare may have credit implications but is less likely to result in legal action from resorts.

Avoid Putting Kids' Names on the Deed:

Timeshare salespeople may suggest adding heirs' names to the deed for convenience, but this can trap children into inheriting the timeshare.

Parents can request the removal of heirs' names from the deed, especially if there's no outstanding loan against the timeshare. Handling maintenance fees through the parent's bank account is advisable.

Heirs Can Disclaim the Timeshare: If the timeshare is of the "right to use" type, heirs can inform the resort of the owner's death, prompting the resort to reclaim the timeshare. For timeshares with a real estate deed or specific bequest in the will, heirs can file a written disclaimer of interest with the probate court, signaling their disinterest in the property.

In conclusion, understanding the options available and taking proactive steps can help families avoid the complexities of inheriting unwanted timeshares. Whether through proactive sales, strategic legal maneuvers, or straightforward disclaimers, families can ensure a smooth transition of vacation ownership without imposing obligations on reluctant heirs.

Search for your state's Disclaimer of Property Interest here:


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