Timeshares are often a family affair. It is not uncommon for families to congregate annually at a timeshare for a holiday, family reunion, or a group vacation. For some families the sentimental value of a timeshare may add to, or exceed, the resale value of a timeshare. In these families a timeshare inheritance would be welcomed by a younger generation interested in carrying-on tradition. In these instances the question is not if the timeshare should be willed, the question is how the timeshare should be properly willed. Families in this situation should consult their lawyer and/or accountant to discuss the benefits of transferring ownership to a trust to avoid probate and possible estate and inheritancetaxes. This type of trust could also avoid one person getting stuck with the bill. Having one account strictly for the purpose of a family timeshare can help to reduce future problems.
Inheriting a timeshare may be beneficial for some families. In other cases it can be a burden. Some families cannot afford the annual maintenance fee ($815/year average) and possible unexpected special assessment fees. This situation can be a serious problem for some. Proper estate planning should take into account the needs and desires of the inheritors to protect their credit and avoid losing the timeshare completely. Consult with your spouse and/or children to determine if they would welcome the timeshare in their inheritance.
Some of you reading this article may be in a situation where a loved one has willed you a timeshare, but you do not want to accept it. A timeshare inheritance can be refused by filing a Disclaimer of Interest although it may not be possible to disclaim the timeshare without disclaiming the full inheritance. Refusal to accept the timeshare may result in the timeshare company filing a damage claim against the estate for future loss of revenue. If the timeshare is not willed it will become part of the probate estate and when the estate is closed the timeshare ownership may terminate. If you find yourself inheriting an unwanted timeshare, be sure to seek legal advice to avoid damaging your personal credit.
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