What Happens To A Timeshare In Probate?
Usually, in probate court, if there is any fighting, dispute, or contest, it is over who gets what—that is, multiple people fighting over who gets limited inheritances. But every now and then, beneficiaries are left something through a will or estate plan that they don’t want. Sometimes, that can be a timeshare.
Problems With Timeshares
Timeshares are very individual choices. While the deceased may have loved visiting where the timeshare is, may have had the money to keep the timeshare, and/or the time off from work to utilize it, while you, who now stand to inherit the timeshare in probate court, do not.
Many timeshare contracts are set up so that they do not automatically terminate at death (or any other event, for that matter, like after a divorce), which means something has to be done with them in the probate court.
Timeshares and Probate
Timeshares are considered real estate like any other type of real estate. That means that absent some estate planning before death, the timeshare will pass through the probate court.
The problem is that even though you may stand to inherit the timeshare, even if you wanted it, you may not be able to do so, including renting it out or on a personal basis, before a probate court transfers the timeshare into your name.
Planning in Advance
To avoid these problems, actions such as using a life estate, adding a timeshare into a trust, or gifting the timeshare can keep it out of probate completely, giving the new owner complete use of it at the time of death.
Remember that a timeshare is an asset, so if it has any value at all and you want to pass it on to beneficiaries who will want the timeshare, it can be lost to creditors who make claims in probate if you haven’t done some pre-probate planning.
For people who stand to inherit timeshares and do want them, they should be sure that they can afford the continuing payments, dues, and fees that come with timeshares, or that there is money in the estate (that is, what is being inherited) to help with such.
Getting Rid of the Timeshare
Most timeshares are very hard to sell and have little monetary value. The probate court can order the timeshare sold if nobody wants it, but it is unlikely the timeshare will yield much money for the estate.
If you inherit a timeshare you don’t want or can’t afford, you will have to abandon it in the probate court.
This is a process that requires filing a document in the probate court, announcing your renunciation. In many cases, timeshare management companies will offer to take the property back from you if you inherit it or suggest that you deed it back to them. However, unless there is a pre-probate consideration like a life estate or a trust, as listed above, that cannot be done once the probate process starts—only the court can transfer the deed.
If you have a probate problem or question we can help. Contact the Tampa probate lawyers at the Gilbert Garcia Group, P.A. today.