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Believe in Vacation Ownership? Estate Planning for Your Timeshare

January 8, 2014

Filed under: Estate Planning,Estate Taxes,Survivorship — Neel Shah @ 9:00 am

Some assets are more difficult to plan for than others.  As a recent article explains, timeshares can be the source of an extreme headache when it comes to estate planning.

First, it is important to realize that, after death, the deceased owner’s estate remains responsible for paying any timeshare maintenance fees and property taxes incurred. These fees can quickly add up, especially when the decedent’s heirs are unaware of them.

Most often, the decedent owner’s estate wishes to sell the timeshare. Unfortunately, timeshares are difficult to sell and it is often necessary for the estate to go to the timeshare company itself. The company may assist in selling the timeshare, however it will likely charge a large commission.

If the timeshare is deeded – rather than leased – the decedent owns a real property interest in it. This means that after the owner dies, the transfer of the timeshare will be controlled by the laws of the state where the timeshare is located, regardless of where the owner resides.

Alternatively, if the timeshare is held in a joint tenancy with a right of survivorship, the timeshare will automatically pass to the joint tenant. The surviving joint tenant will need to file an affidavit of death in order to have the deceased joint tenant removed from the deed.