What Happens To My Timeshare After I Die?

Personal Property Timeshares and Probate

What happens to your timeshare after you die depends on which type of timeshare you have. Timeshares fall into two categories: Real Property Timeshare Interests and Personal Property Timeshares. Both types have their advantages and disadvantages.  

Personal Property Timeshare, also called “Right to Use,” is when you purchase a membership (interest) in a timeshare company. You can use this membership to stay at any of the timeshare properties around the world, usually for one to two weeks at a time. Some of these timeshares require you to pay annual maintenance fees (for life) on top of your membership fees.

what happens to my timeshare after i die

When someone who owns real estate (such as a timeshare evidenced by warranty deed) dies, a probate case would determine who to transfer that timeshare “asset” to. 

Probate is the legal process of determining the value of the deceased’s persona’s assets, and assigning or distributing the what’s left of the estate (after debts and taxes are paid) to beneficiaries or heirs.

Types of Timeshares

Personal Property Timeshare Interests are handled in the state where the timeshare owner died. For example, if you own personal property timeshare interests and die in South Carolina, the South Carolina court would have to manage transferring the timeshare interest to your heirs.

The other type of timeshare is Real Property Timeshares. This is when you sign a deed and actually own a fraction of interest in the timeshare property. In this case, that deed can only be transferred in the state where the timeshare is located, even if you live out of state. 

For example, if you are a Florida resident and have a real property timeshare located in California, that deed can only be transferred through the probate process in California.

timeshares and probate

Can You Be Forced to Inherit Timeshare?

If you don’t want your children to be forced to inherit your timeshare upon your death, there are several things you can do. The first option is to create a trust to hold your timeshare interests. When setting up this trust,  allow your children to be co-trustees. That way, in the event of your death, your children ( co-trustees) are not obligated to keep your timeshare and can get rid of it if they wish.

Another option is for you to ask the resort to take back their timeshare prior to your death. According to NerdWallet, “Resorts are unlikely to sue elderly customers over abandoned, paid-off timeshares.” You have a better option of resorts taking back the unwanted timeshare if you’ve already paid it off. 

avoid inherting a timeshare

How Can I Avoid Inheriting a Timeshare?

You might be wondering why anyone would want to avoid inheriting a timeshare. Who wouldn’t want to travel to exotic destinations each year on their parents’ dime? But the truth is, when you inherit a timeshare, you become responsible for all the annual fees ($900 to $3000 or more for high end properties) too. Most of these fees are for life! 

Unfortunately, many resorts try to trick timeshare owners into naming their heirs (putting their children’s names) on the deed when they buy a timeshare. These resorts will act like they’re doing you a favor. This deceptive practice only traps your heirs into inheriting the obligatory timeshare. Resorts do this because your beneficiaries will inherit all the annual timeshare fees that you signed up for. 

But if you have a Personal Property Timeshare, (this is the “Right to Use” type) there’s something your heirs can do to avoid inheriting an unwanted timeshare. The heirs can renounce their legal right to inherit the property by filing a written “disclaimer of interest” (also called a renunciation) with the probate court who manages their parents’ estate. 

Each state has its own laws regarding Disclaimers of Interest. You can find a list of each State’s Disclaimer of Property Interest laws here.

2 Responses to “What Happens To My Timeshare After I Die?”

  1. […] timeshares allow you to pass your timeshare onto an heir after you die , while others allow you to use the property for up to 40 years. Find out how much “remaining […]

  2. Earl says:

    what happens to memberships in Mexico here the resort chain has given you a certificate of perpetuity a long with the line of you are now part of the Shareholders group and this is an investment.

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