What Happens To My Loved One’s Timeshare After They Pass Away?
Many families have timeshares for summer vacations in Florida, but what happens if the owner passes away?
Let us explore answers to some of the most common questions about Florida timeshare probate:
● What is a timeshare?
● Does a timeshare go into probate?
● How do I avoid timeshare probate?
● What happens if the timeshare is in Florida, but I live out of state?
● What if I inherit a timeshare, but I do not want it?
What Is a Timeshare?
A timeshare is also known as a vacation ownership. It is a lifetime commitment to vacation at one resort or destination, usually for one week per year. When you pay for a timeshare, you prepay a lump sum, or you finance an amount, plus annual maintenance fees, in exchange for the use of the property.
Does a Timeshare Go Into Probate?
Probate is a process where the court supervises the gathering and identification of all of a decedent’s (deceased person’s) assets and then uses them to pay off their debts and distribute the
remaining assets to beneficiaries.
Most Florida timeshares are treated as deeded real property. That means that if the timeshare title is going to be cleared, transferred, or sold, it will go into probate in the county where it is located. Since timeshares are considered real estate and not personal property, the transfer of a timeshare is conducted through a court order or deed.
How Do I Avoid Timeshare Probate?
The probate process can be time-consuming, expensive, and complicated, which is why we recommend you avoid it with proper planning by the help of a probate attorney, such as those at Easy Estate Probate. We can walk you through ways to avoid probate on your Florida timeshare.
There are two ways to bypass the probate process of a timeshare entirely:
1. Adding heirs to a deed transfer – A deed can be transferred before death, or you can add the beneficiaries to the deed to make the co-owners by right of survivorship.
2. Trust distributions – A living trust, for example, allows you to have access to your timeshare still but ensures that your family will receive it as an asset upon your passing, effectively avoiding the probate process altogether.
What Happens if the Timeshare Is in Florida, but I Live Out of State?
Many families invest in a Florida timeshare because of its tourist destinations (such as Disney World and the beaches) and the warm weather, but if your timeshare is in Florida and you live out of state, what happens?
A Florida timeshare is subject to Florida probate laws regardless of where the owner or beneficiary lives.
We recommend you seek the counsel of an experienced probate attorney, like those at Easy Estate Probate, to handle the “ancillary probate administration” process for you. Ancillary
probate administration is a type of probate case filed in Florida after someone passes away, which allows the transfer of ownership of a decedent’s (deceased loved one’s) in-state property to an out-of-state beneficiary.
What if I Inherit a Timeshare, but I Don’t Want It?
A beneficiary may not want a timeshare for a number of reasons, including:
● Almost all timeshares have monthly, quarterly, or annual maintenance fees that are similar to homeowners’ association payments. Failure to pay can result in foreclosure, but this could be a financial burden that beneficiaries are not prepared to take on.
● Timeshares have little monetary value and are hard to sell.
If no one wants a timeshare, the probate court can order that it be sold, but it will likely not contribute significantly to the value of the estate. Beneficiaries can also choose to abandon the timeshare by submitting documents to the probate court. Another option is to deed it back to the timeshare management company that sold it to the decedent.
Each timeshare probate case is unique, and having an experienced probate attorney on your side can make a significant difference. Take the stress out of the process and secure peace of mind knowing that your timeshare probate matters are in capable hands.
Click here for a FREE case review from a trusted probate attorney at Easy Estate Probate today!