Questions about Timeshare Inheritance

published on January 17, 2011 by .

The Wall Street Journal recently posted an interesting article with some food for thought for all timeshare owners. “Should Your Children Go Through Probate to Inherit a Timeshare?”

The author said, “This is a question I am often asked via my brokerage from clients who have attended a postcard company seminar and perhaps been misinformed. In my opinion, the best answer I’ve seen to this type of question came from a Florida probate attorney named Long H. Duong, who has a legal firm in Gainesville, Florida.”

Duong suggests that the real question is whether or not the person who will be inheriting the timeshare intends to use the timeshare or sell it at a reasonable profit. If they stand to receive very little benefit from the timeshare and it’s the only real asset of the estate, it might not be worth it.

Here are a few points Duong says to consider:

  1. Timeshares can be hard to sell unless they are the cream of the crop.
  2. As with any other probate case, despite what a Last Will might say, you do not own it until you go through probate.
  3. If the timeshare management company asks you to simply quit claim deed the interest back to them (and be relieved of the costs), you should know that you cannot deed any interest that you do not yet own (see #2).
  4. Furthermore, you have NO obligation to deal with the timeshare. Yes, you will lose it, but no, you don’t have to continue to pay the maintenance fees if you have been willed it and don’t want to deal with it.

The legal process to decline an inheritance varies in each state, reports Duong, so if this issue comes up make sure you consult with an attorney. If you need a comparative market analysis to use as a valuation for the timeshare property, a respected brokerage specializing in timeshares should be able to provide you with that document either at no cost, or for a very small fee of no more than $50, says Duong.

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