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Timeshares and Your Estate Plan

A lot of people come home from a vacation with a souvenir they did not intend to ever buy… a shiny new TIMESHARE or ”vacation club” or even a fancy “fractional ownership!”   It seemed like a great idea after a couple of Mai Tais I am sure!  One of the sales benefits often gushed by the slick salespeople is that this timeshare can be given to your children and grandchildren after you die.  While this is often true, how many people actually factor this into their estate plan?  My wife and I have sat through several presentations in our years together as we have a hard time passing up a “deal.”  We got Tiffany candy dishes and $200 to spend at the Four Seasons one time at the Four Seasons Aviara.  Ok, that was our best deal to date but I’ll sit through another timeshare presentation if anybody can beat that!

So maybe you didn’t mean to buy it but you will enjoy it I am sure… but did you intend to create a multi-state probate after your death that can cost your kids many thousands of dollars?  Oh you tell me “it doesn’t matter because it won’t be worth anything anyway….”  That is possible but it can be difficult for your children to even sell (or give away) a valueless timeshare without going into probate and thus even a valueless timeshare can be a problem as it can create a creditor nightmare after your death as those annual maintenance fees keep coming and can affect the inheritance you leave for your children. As a California attorney I have a lot of clients who own timeshares in Hawaii, Nevada, Arizona and Mexico.

The simple answer is to title your timeshare in your living trust.  In some cases it’s as simple as notifying the timeshare company and filling out a form; usually a fee of some kind of as well, of course.  If it’s a deeded timeshare you will need to have a deed recorded.  In any of these cases work with your estate planning attorney to make sure it’s done right as some states, Hawaii in particular, has some wrinkles to iron out so the deed gets done right.

If you don’t have a living trust but you own a timeshare (especially a real estate timeshare) look into getting a trust now as a multi-state probate can be hugely expensive after death!

I have pasted a list of timeshare companies below. If you own one of them, or any other timeshare or fractional interest, and don’t want to leave your kids a mess get it included in your estate plan properly!

Contact me with any questions or visit our website at www.californiaprobate.info

-John

LIST OF TIMESHARES, VACATION CLUBS AND FRACTIONALS

Atlas, The Vacation Owners Club
Avalon Vacation Club
Aviawest Resort Club
Bluegreen Resorts
Club Absolute
Club Casa Dorada
Club Intrawest
Club Navigo
Club Regina
Consolidated Resorts
Defender Resorts
Diamond Resorts International®
Disney Vacation Club
Divi Resorts
El Cid Vacations Club
Embassy Vacation Resorts
Escapes!
Fairfield Resorts
Festiva Resorts
Four Seasons Residence Clubs
GeoHoliday Vacation Club
Global Exchange Vacation Club
Grand Pacific Resorts
Hilton Grand Vacations Club
Holiday Concepts Group
Holiday Inn Club Vacations
Hyatt Vacation Club
ILX Premiere Vacation Club
InnSeason Resorts
Island One Resorts
Legacy Vacation Club
Macdonald Resorts
Marriott Vacation Club
Mayan Resorts
Monarch Grand Vacations
MROP – ORE
Old Greenwood – Truckee, CA
PAHIO
Palace Resorts
Perennial Vacation Club
Pueblo Bonito Resorts
Raintree Vacation Club
Ritz-Carlton Club
Royal Aloha Vacation Club
Royal Holiday
Royal Resorts
Seasons Holidays
Shawnee Resorts
Shell Vacations Club
Silverleaf Resorts
Spinnaker Resorts
SPM Resorts
Starwood Vacation Ownership
Summer Bay Resorts
Sunterra Resorts
The Berkley Group
The Villa Group
Universal Vacation Club
Vacation Internationale
Vacation Village Resorts
Welk Resort Group
Westgate Resorts
World International Vacation Club
WorldMark, The Club
Wyndham Vacation Ownership