Inheriting a Timeshare Property: What You Need to Know

Inheriting a timeshare from parents

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Timeshare owners don’t usually realize that their commitment to their vacation property can be passed on to their children after death. The children may unwittingly accept the timeshare without knowing the full extent of the financial consequences. 


In this article, we go on a deep discussion of what you need to know when inheriting a timeshare property. 

Table of Contents

What are the financial duties passed on to the timeshare owner's heir?

A timeshare can be considered a unique type of property. It is a part of the deceased’s estate, and, upon death, may be passed on to their heirs. Owning this type of property comes at a price, though. Written in timeshare contracts are all the financial obligations of the new owner. 

The list of recurring payments differs for every case. This might include the mortgage payment if the timeshare was bought using financing. Just like with any other property, you will also need to pay taxes. Lastly, there is the maintenance fee that goes to the timeshare resort for the place’s upkeep. Some of the costs may go up in the future. 

What Should Timeshare Owners Remember? Ideally, the timeshare owners should let their heirs know about these fees when doing their estate planning. With knowledge of the costs for maintaining a timeshare property, the owners’ children should be able to make informed decisions if they want to keep the property or not. 

Make sure that your children's names aren't in the timeshare deed.

If you have access to a copy of the deed of the timeshare property, check if your heirs’ names are included there. If so, ask the resort company to remove them from the deed. If they remain there after the owner’s death, the property may be automatically passed down to them. 

Why are their names even there? This is usually added by the timeshare salespeople in the creation of the contract. The sales team usually tries to convince timeshare buyers to include their children in the deed. They usually justify this by saying it will become more convenient for the heirs to use the property. Unfortunately, this practice is one of the reasons why most timeshares are passed on together with other parts of the estate. 

What If I will just Ignore my Timeshare?

It is not recommended to abandon your timeshare obligations, especially if it was purchased using financing and the debt has not been fully paid. If this is the case, the timeshare resort may sue the timeshare owner and go after their assets. 

If the timeshare developer chooses, they can foreclose upon the property. This can negatively affect the timeshare owner’s credit score. 

What should Timeshare Owners Do to Avoid Transferring this Financial Burden?

Timeshare owners must consult their heirs if they want to keep the vacation property. When discussing this matter, make sure that the heirs know about the fees that come with the property. If they choose not to continue with the timeshare, the owner may want to get rid of it before their death to ensure that it is not passed on to their heirs. 

1. End the Timeshare Contract before its Owner's Death

One solution is to contact the resort and ask if they have a buyback policy for unwanted timeshares. Resort companies usually have teams that handle these types of inquiries. Before you go trying any other method, it’s best to try the resort company first. 

2. Sell the property back to the resort company

Timeshare owners must consult their heirs if they want to keep the vacation property. When discussing this matter, make sure that the heirs know about the fees that come with the property. If they choose not to continue with the timeshare, the owner may want to get rid of it before their death to ensure that it is not passed on to their heirs. 

3. Sell to another person or organization

Timeshare owners who want to recover some cash from their property also have the option to sell it. If sold before death, the property will no longer be inherited by the next of kin. 

Selling a timeshare can be challenging. In most states, you need to work with a licensed professional to resell timeshares. When doing so, make sure to avoid paying the salesperson upfront. There is no guarantee that they will be able to sell your timeshare for you at the price you want. 

4. Donate the timeshare

You also have the option of donating it to someone else. This option is ideal if you do not necessarily need to get money back from your timeshare. 

Make sure that the person or organization who will become the new owners of the donated timeshare are aware of the financial commitments that come with it. It is usually because of these financial commitments that people refuse to accept donated timeshares. 

5. Hire a Professional Timeshare Exit Team

Suppose you have tried the options above but are unsuccessful. In that case, you may hire a legal team to assist you with exiting your timeshare. A timeshare attorney will communicate with the resort developer on your behalf. Learn more about hiring an attorney here.

I am about to Inherit a Timeshare. What Should I do?

Learn Everything About What You are Inheriting

Before you agree to inherit a timeshare property, make sure that you are aware of the financial burden that comes along with them. It’s best to sit down with your parents before accepting this commitment and ask them about all the recurring fees that they pay. Ultimately, you will have to decide if owning this timeshare property is something you want to do.

Don’t use your name when making payments to the timeshare

Timeshare experts warn against using your own credit card or bank account to pay the resort developers. This usually happens when the children start to manage the finances of their aging parents. 

Prepare for the Probate Process

Matters concerning the inheritance of the timeshare property are likely to be included in the probate process. You need to scrutinize your readiness to take on the timeshare before you accept it. 

 

If you are not ready for this commitment, you must be prepared to disclaim the timeshare during this process. Before doing this, you may want to read the timeshare agreement to determine what happens to the vacation property after the owners’ death. 

Check if there is a will.

Does the deceased have a will? After reading the contract, you may also want to check if the timeshare owner has a will. There may not be a need to go through the trouble if the will states that you are not the heir of the timeshare ownership. 

 

 

If the will states that the timeshare will be passed on to you, you have a short period to disclaim the timeshare. In most states, you have nine months after the owner’s death to file for a disclaimer.   

Disclaiming A Timeshare

To avoid inheriting a timeshare, the heir must file a disclaimer of interest with the court. You must file the disclaimer as soon as possible because you only have a short window after the timeshare owner’s passing to do this.

 

What Happens to the Timeshare? The disclaimer prevents the timeshare from passing on to you, but the property has to go to someone. In this case, the property is passed on to the next-of-kin of the intended heir. It could be the siblings of the heir or a close relative. 

 

After you disclaim the timeshare, make sure that you let those who are next in line know about the timeshare. The succeeding heirs of the timeshare also have to file a disclaimer, just like you did, to avoid getting billed by the resort. 

 

With every heir not interested in the property and no one left to pay the maintenance fee, the resort may file a claim against the original owner’s estate.

What Should I Do If I Can No Longer Disclaim the Timeshare?

Many circumstances would make you ineligible from disclaiming your timeshare inheritance. I’ve already mentioned some of these circumstances above, such as:

 

  • Using the resort before the probate process 
  • Paying the timeshare fees using your own bank account
  • Not filing the disclaimer of interest on time

 

If you can no longer disclaim the property for any reason, you will have to get rid of the timeshare as if you are its owner. 

 

We created an article to guide you on how to do this. 

 

When you have exhausted all your options of canceling your unwanted timeshare, you should consider getting professional help. This is what we do here at the Forza Consumer Group. Complete the form below, and we will give you a call. 

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