The passing of a loved one, such as a parent or grandparent, is a trying and difficult time under the best of circumstances.
To make matters worse, many people’s feelings of stress may well be compounded by taking on a family member’s burdensome financial obligations after their passing. There’s one such obligation that many individuals leave to their families, actually believing that they’re passing along a gift: their timeshare interest.
However useful the timeshare product may be, it inevitably comes with certain financial responsibilities, including the payment of assessments and annual maintenance fees, which tend to rise, year over year.
For individuals who dread the thought of taking on the mounting costs of the family timeshare when a loved one passes away, this frequently leads to one question: “Can I avoid inheriting a timeshare?”
Here’s what our own Michael Finn had to say when asked to weigh in on this timeshare FAQ:
And here’s a transcript of his thoughts:
“Yes, there are definitely steps you can take to avoid inheriting a timeshare.
Make sure that your name is not on any deed. Sometimes parents will put a child’s name on a deed because they feel they’re doing their child a favor. A child can then use the resort’s amenities, but since, in most states, an owner on the deed is liable for maintenance fees and other responsibilities, it’s not a good idea to be on the deed.
Ask your parents or whoever else might be thinking about giving you a time share to not make you a specific, named individual in the will. If they want to just name it in their will and give other heirs an opportunity, everybody can get together at the proper time and discuss it, and if nobody wants it, nobody is required to accept it.”
For more of Michael’s in-depth thoughts on this important – and surprisingly complex – topic, we encourage you to read his article, “Inheriting a Timeshare Interest: Inevitable or Preventable?” in which he dives into some major caveats and the finer points of states’ laws.
Led by Attorney Michael D. Finn with 50 years of experience, the Finn Law Group is a consumer protection firm specializing in timeshare law. Our lawyers understand vacation ownership as well as the many pitfalls of the secondary market of timeshare resales. If you feel you have been victimized by a timeshare company, contact our offices for a free consultation. Know your rights as a consumer and don’t hesitate to drop us a line with any questions or concerns.