What happens to my timeshare after my death? Scammers will try to convince you that your children will be responsible, but is that really the case?

Q: I just read your article about considering fees and finances before inheriting a timeshare. As a timeshare owner who cannot sell or give his timeshare away (because, as you said, no one wants one), I am being told by the “scammers” (who constantly call saying that they can sell my timeshare) that my children “must” accept responsibility when I die.

I do not see this in my contract but my contract is not very detailed. I cannot imagine children bearing the burden of their parents’ real estate mistakes. Do you know if a timeshare responsibility stops with death of the owner?

A: Here’s the good news, such as it is: The timeshare financial and legal responsibilities should stop with your death. Your children should not be responsible for your actions and liabilities during your life. Some timeshare companies may make it seem that your children or family members will have to pay your bills and expenses relating to your timeshare after you are gone, but they are likely trying to scare you into making payments or having your children make payments.

While you are alive, you can designate who will inherit your timeshare but you are not obligated to designate anyone. If you wanted to designate someone, you’d make sure you have a will and state in the will the person you’d like to inherit the timeshare. In turn, the person you designate to inherit your timeshare can decline to accept that inheritance.

For example, if you don’t name your children as heirs, state law would govern who gets your assets. So, your spouse or children may be designated under state law to receive the inheritance of the timeshare, but here again they can decline this inheritance if they don’t want to bear the burden of continuing to own the timeshare.

But your family members would have to be careful about what happens so that they are not deemed to be in possession of the time share. Once you have died, if your family members continue to use the timeshare, they may have been deemed to have accepted the inheritance and may have the responsibility to bear the cost of ownership of the timeshare. Your heirs can’t have it both ways. They can’t claim that they don’t want to own the timeshare and yet decide to use the unit.

If you’ve tried to get rid of the timeshare and have been unable to get rid of it, you should make sure your family members are aware that they can use the timeshare while you are living, but they should not step foot onto the timeshare property after your death.

As for the calls from companies trying to sell the timeshare for you, they’re trying to make a sale. Our perspective is that they’ll say anything to get you to sign on to their services. If you truly don’t want your timeshare and never use it, you wouldn’t want to pay a company a fee to get rid of it only to find out that good money was spent and didn’t come to anything.