Kathy D. Sheive Attorney at Law

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How do I transfer my timeshare to my trust or family member?

Your timeshare can be passed on to a family member after your death. It does depend on the exact contract you sign, but many include clauses that say the payments will be made in perpetuity. Generally speaking, this means the timeshare is part of the estate when you pass away, just like your home or your bank account. Ownership doesn't revert to the resort just because you've passed away.

One way that a timeshare can be passed on is simply by owning it jointly with someone else, like a spouse or an heir. Then your ownership percentage automatically goes to the other party.

Another way to pass it on is by directing the transfer of ownership in your will. Perhaps you have two children. You could specify that upon your death, 50 percent ownership goes to each. They then take on the payment obligations that you held, or they can sell the timeshare if they do not want that cost.

One thing to remember is that, since the timeshare is in the estate, your heirs can't just ignore the payments. Your estate still owes that money, even if you never specified how ownership should be transferred. This means the resort may be able to collect back payments, late fees and the like from the remains of the estate.

Heirs can turn down the timeshare. Perhaps they can't afford it or simply don't want it. They need to use a disclaimer document. The key here is that they have under a year to act, so it's still wise to give them all of the legal information you can about the contract you signed.

Your heirs must know that the timeshare exists and what obligations and responsibilities go with it, or they could be shocked to get the foreclosure notice and the bill. Communication is critical, as is planning in advance.

Source: The Nest, "Do Timeshares Get Passed on to Children?," Jeannine Mancini, accessed Nov. 15, 2017

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