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?
What Happens to My Timeshare After My Death?
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 timeshare. 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.
More on Topics Related to Timeshares
Credit 101: What’s in Your Credit Reports?
Timeshares and Estate Planning: Is Probate Necessary?
Is a Free Timeshare a Gift or a Problem?
Inheriting Timeshares: How to Avoid an Inherited Timeshare
Timeshare Decision Includes Costs And Vacation Benefits
We have had our time share for 20 years and never used it. We paid in full for it when we bought it My husband traveled for business and we could never coordinate availability. Since we NEVER used it, was the contract ever really fulfilled? We want out of this obvious racket. Any recommendation? Much appreciation for any help!
Sadly, that’s how it works out for most timeshares. They never get used and yet the annual (and sometimes monthly) assessments are still due. You should try to hire the company that manages the timeshare to resell it for you. Even if you don’t get any money for it, you’ll be able to stop the assessments.
I have plenty of other stories about timeshares on the site that may be helpful.
Ilyce Glink, Publisher
We have been contacted by a advocacy company to help get us out of our timeshare. They told us the timeshare would be passed on to our children because of perpetunity. They want over $8000 to help us get rid of it. We live in Texas bought it in Las Vegas. I feel they are scaring us with the perpetunity claim. Our kids would not use it. Any suggestions?
Your children have the right to refuse to accept assets after you die. The timeshare is one of them. So, you might leave it when you die and whoever is the executor would assign it and then your children would be able to say, in effect, “No thanks.” No one’s family is tethered to debt in perpetuity.
Talk with an attorney about ways to donate and/or give away the timeshare. You’ll spend less than $8,000 and will be, it sounds like, well rid of it.
Ilyce Glink, Publisher
My friend passed away and her son pays the maintenance on the timeshare and rents it our and collects the rent. The timeshare company is saying he must update the title to continue the use, is this true? Can the timeshare just take possession if both parents who were on the title die.
I discovered I am listed on the deed to my parents timeshare. I lost my dear mother last year but my Dad is still alive. They are years behind on maintenance and he has a collection against his credit report. I called the broker for the timeshare who said since it is a small company they will just foreclose on the unit in the next year or two.
Do I have anything to worry about? How can I be legally responsible for something which I never agreed to or signed? How can someone simply place my name on a deed without my knowledge and I become liable? I thought I was a free person yet this would be a fundamental violation of my freedom.
My husband bought a timeshare over forty years ago Maeva , the charges have gone up year by year they are now approx £1400 for 2 weeks, we also had to pay towards the renovation costs which were £ 3000 about 6 years ago, my husband has died this year, I contacted the company Club hotel Tenerife whose offices are in Paris and sent them a death certificate, they have just given him seven days notice to pay an outstanding maintainence bill,
I don’t want the timeshare I am 80 years old and can not travel.