Timeshares, Your Estate Plan, And The Probate Courts
Timeshares can be an easy and somewhat affordable way to take vacations, especially if you particularly enjoy a specific location and going there over and over again. But what happens to a timeshare that you own, when you pass away?
Who Wants Your Timeshare?
Like any other property, the timeshare, or your interest in it can pass on to your beneficiaries. Timeshares should be included in wills or estate documents, and if they are not, they will pass like everything else through California’s intestate statutes.
But timeshares come with some drawbacks, that other property may not come with: Whoever is inheriting your timeshare may not want it or use it, and they will be responsible for the expenses and fees that are associated with the timeshare, if they in fact do want to keep it. That means that unlike other property, timeshare property is property that may be wholly unwanted when it is inherited.
One thing that you can do, if you are leaving a timeshare to someone in your estate plan, is to leave that person in control of your estate, as a named trustee or co-trustee. They then will have the right to keep, sell or abandon the timeshare.
You should also leave money in your estate plan, to pay for all expenses and fees on the timeshare, while it is being probated, or to pay the fees and costs while the timeshare may be waiting to be sold.
Another problem is that a timeshare is property that must be probated, thus subjecting your estate to the probate process. While it is being probated, the fees and costs of the timeshare must be paid by your estate. Unlike real property that you own, where the property is at least, hopefully, increasing in value as time goes on, a timeshare isn’t doing this for you, in most cases.
You can avoid probate by naming a spouse or someone else as a joint tenant. However, the timeshare will then be owned by the joint tenant on your passing, who again, may want or may not want the timeshare.
You can also avoid probate by transferring the timeshare into a living trust, and then leave instructions to the trust on who gets the timeshare, and any funding associated with the timeshare, after your passing.
If the timeshare’ expenses can’t be paid by whoever gets it, the timeshare can foreclose. This can be a black mark on the new owner’s (the beneficiary’s) credit.
Renouncing the Timeshare
A beneficiary can refuse to inherit a timeshare if he or she doesn’t want it. This usually involves the filing of a document, such as a renunciation, in the Probate Court. Make sure that anybody who wants to renounce the timeshare, doesn’t also use it. Using it can affect your legal ability to wash your hands of the timeshare and walk away from it.
We can help you manage your real estate or timeshare in youtube state plan. Call the Torrance will and estate attorneys at Samuel Ford Law today for help.