Inheriting a Timeshare : The Dangers

When a parent or a family member passes, the timeshare that they owned when alive can be passed down to a beneficiary or next-of-kin. You might see this as an opportunity to carry on that person’s legacy and vacation in their ‘favourite place’ and experience a timeshare holiday yourself. But, stop and think first. You need to understand everything about timeshares before you sign any contracts and take responsibility for the timeshare.

Read on to learn more about the dangers of inheriting a timeshare, reasons why you should not accept the contract and how you can say no to these companies.

Inheriting Timeshares

A few decades back when timeshares first exploded onto the holiday scene, one of the sales pitches was telling prospective buyers that timeshares could be passed down as an inheritance. Customer’s thought they were paying for something which would benefit their children in the future, when in fact it only hindered them with fees.

Deborah Howerton and her brother Carl, understand this feeling all too well after inheriting their parent’s timeshare. For a decade, their parents enjoyed two weeks a year at their timeshare in Orlando, Florida. And when they bought it, they named their children as the beneficiaries. Now, Carl and Deborah are the new owners of the timeshare and responsible for the $900 annual fee for each week at the timeshare.

Deborah expressed her and her brother’s lack of desire to have this timeshare, claiming that although “‘it was great for my mom and dad…they also had the luxury of time and flexibility to use. We, however, do not.” She also said it was impossible to sell, and she and her brother are afraid that not paying the fees will ruin their credit. And she was right. In January, Deborah received a delinquency notice requesting payment of the timeshare fees with an 18% interest rate attached.

The Issues

Most people don’t realise they have inherited a timeshare as a timeshare owner can add anyone in their will or on the contract as a beneficiary. They might not even inform these people of what they have done, thinking they will be glad for it in the future. There was one case of a woman who had inherited eight timeshares from her deceased brother, each with a $1,500 annual maintenance fee attached. And she had no idea! In more cases than not, people inheriting a timeshare see it as a curse rather than a blessing. But, you don’t have to take on the responsibility of the contract.

How to Say No

If you find out you have inherited a timeshare contract, then you can file a disclaimer and reject the responsibility. This means the contract will then go to the next beneficiary under the will. And this goes on and on until someone accepts liability, or the cost for the maintenance fees comes from the deceased person’s assets instead. There really is no end to most timeshare contract, and they will continue to haunt you after death.

No one has to accept the burden of inherited timeshare ownership or the costs that come with it. Despite what some dodgy salespeople and companies might say, just because your parents or family named you as beneficiary, doesn’t mean you must take on responsibility for the timeshare costs. You never bought the timeshare initially, so you can’t be forced to pay for it. If you get a bill from a timeshare company, send a disclaimer immediately. If they still persist, then you can take the case to a lawyer or timeshare exit company to get the company to leave you alone and move on.

Fees Must be Paid

When you take on a timeshare that has a perpetuity clause, then they can likely still claim fees even after your death. This might be a motivator for some children to take responsibility for the timeshare, because if they say no, then the expenses can be claimed through the deceased assets. You might not want your parent’s valuables being taken to pay for a resort in Orlando.

If no one steps forward to claim the contract, then the executor or administrator of the estate needs to settle the debt to be discharged from liability. Rather than letting assets be taken, have the executor try to sell the timeshare or even donate it to a charity organisation. With the timeshare no longer connected to the deceased person or their family, no one inherits these costly fees and stress.

Check out our website today if you think you have unlawfully been sold a timeshare or wish to exit your contract early. If you are facing inheriting a timeshare and want proper advice on how to reject the responsibility or fight a persistent or scam company, then contact us today.