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Although it might not be something timeshare owners and their families want to dwell upon, if an owner dies, family members may wonder what then happens to the timeshare. Getting the right timeshare help can guide you through the procedures involved to settle the deceased person’s estate.

Check the contract

One of the first things you need to do if a family member dies is to check their timeshare contract. If their contract was in perpetuity, this means that the timeshare is life long, so will form part of a person’s estate when they die. Maintenance fees will still need to be paid on the timeshare by the next of kin or designated beneficiary, even when the owner has died.

Ownership

If the timeshare was held in joint ownership with a spouse, for example, then the process is fairly straightforward. The surviving spouse will become the remaining owner of the timeshare. The owner may have also left a will which details how to divide up their assets, including their timeshare.

Probate

If there is no other co-owner or other name given on the deed, the timeshare is then likely to be subject to probate. During this time, the timeshare can not be used by any beneficiaries, although the executor of the estate will need to make sure that maintenance fees are still being paid on the timeshare.

If the beneficiaries of the timeshare decide not to pay the maintenance fees, the timeshare company will not chase them for payments individually, but rather will seek the fees from the deceased person’s estate. Any assets from the estate may be used to pay accumulating fees on the timeshare, and the timeshare company may also foreclose and take the timeshare back.

In some cases, family members who inherit a timeshare may decide that they do not want the burden of keeping it on, or may not be able to afford to keep it on. In such cases, they can write a disclaimer to refuse acceptance of the timeshare, and if approved, the timeshare will then be passed to the next beneficiary in line.

Some beneficiaries may decide to sell the timeshare they have inherited, or in some circumstances, may even give it back to the resort and relinquish their new ownership rights.

If you own timeshare it might be worth thinking about future ownership of your property, in the event of death. It can make life a lot easier if you have a will or trust drawn up to decide who will be the beneficiary of the property, or to, at least, add those names to the timeshare contract. Although this might not be the most desirable aspect of owning a timeshare that you want to think about, it can help to save a lot of confusion or issues in the long run. Seek timeshare help on these matters to make the most appropriate decisions for you and your family.