Placing Your Timeshare in a Trust: A Comprehensive Guide


Owning a timeshare can feel like having a sticky bomb in your pocket. It’s easy to get into, but notoriously difficult to get out of. However, there’s a solution that might just defuse the ticking time bomb – putting your timeshare into a trust.

I’ve personally put all four of my timeshares into a living trust and have never had an issue with the developers. Whether I purchased my timeshare in the name of the trust or transferred it later, the process was straightforward. The key is to ensure your trust is set up correctly and you’ve got the proper documentation.

But why should you consider this route? Well, without a trust, your estate may need to go through probate in multiple states, which can be time-consuming and potentially costly. Trust me, it’s worth looking into.

Should a timeshare be put in a trust?

It’s interesting to delve into whether a timeshare should be put into a trust. It’s true that transferring ownership of timeshares can sometimes feel like a laborious task, with many legal obstacles and potential roadblocks along the way.

However, I’ve found that many of the difficulties simply seem daunting because they’re unfamiliar. After speaking to multiple timeshare owners, it becomes clear that while it might initially seem like a daunting proposition, it’s entirely possible to successfully place a timeshare in a trust. I’m not alone in this belief either. Our 3 timeshares have been placed in our trust with new deeds bearing the name of our trust.

The task was made smooth with the help of experienced attorneys who handled the whole process. In fact, putting multiple timeshares in a trust did not pose any significant problems. What we needed, was proper documentation and the trust set up correctly. With these fall into place, the road appeared much straighter.

On the other hand, establishing a trust for timeshares in other countries might prompt some legal professionals to roll their eyes. Yes, it may indeed turn out to be a big hassle to get the deeds changed to the name of the trust. But even then, several timeshare owners have managed to achieve this. All four of their timeshares were successfully transferred into their living trust. Not a single issue came up from the developers regarding the title transfer.

In essence, the broader picture tells me that, while challenges are present, they aren’t insurmountable. With adequate preparation and sound legal advice, timeshares can be placed into trusts with few to no hiccups. So, I’d say the fears surrounding this process are often over-played, and the benefits of the trust outweigh the supposed risks. We’ll discuss the advantages of placing your timeshares into a trust in the following section.

  • Transferring timeshares into a trust is entirely doable.
  • Legal assistance can make the process smoother.
  • Proper documentation and correctly set up trust are essential.
  • Timeshares in other countries can also be placed into trusts.
  • The benefits of putting timeshares into a trust often outweigh the supposed risks.

Should a timeshare not be put in a trust?

There’s a prevailing notion among some folks that putting a timeshare in a trust could be a massive hassle. I’ll admit, I’ve encountered a few raised eyebrows and eye-rolls when the subject comes up. But is it really that big a deal? Let’s give that thought a good shake and see what falls out.

When I raise the issue of placing timeshares into a trust, it seems to conjure images of endless paperwork and legal complexities. Indeed, the property deeds need to be changed from our individual names to the trust – and this is a task that requires attention to detail and patience. An attorney capable of handling this efficiently and effectively makes this process far simpler than anticipated.

Surprisingly, few people are aware that timeshares located in other countries can also be placed into trusts. Although it may need an extra bit of effort given the different jurisdiction, it’s totally doable with the right legal assistance.

But the most crucial part in all of this is ensuring that the trust is correctly set up. Once that’s in place, transferring the ownership of the timeshare to the trust should be fairly straightforward. All it takes is providing the developer with the right documentation such as the abstract of trust.

Having my timeshares within the trust, I’ve never encountered a hitch with developers over the ownership transfer. Whether it was a timeshare that the trust purchased directly, or one I transferred into the trust, the process has always been smooth.

Transferring timeshare into a trust may have its challenges, but with the right preparation and legal assistance, it’s a doable endeavor. The benefits, both in terms of hassle-free inheritance and estate planning, usually overshadow any perceived drawbacks.

So, should a timeshare not be put in a trust? It’s not for me to say. But armed with the right information, you’re now better equipped to decide for yourself.

What Happens to Timeshares When the Owner Dies?

The topic of what happens to a timeshare when its owner passes away has drawn quite a bit of attention lately. Let’s delve into this, particularly focusing on inheritance and related choices.

Do Timeshares Get Passed Onto Children?

In many cases, when a timeshare owner passes away, their timeshares become part of the decedent’s estate, just like any other assets they may have owned. If properly documented in an Estate Plan, these timeshares get passed on to the designated beneficiaries, who invariably become accountable for the timeshare fees that come along with the property.

  • Visualize timeshares as a fraction of a vacation property that you can buy into. They are engineered in a way that allows you to enjoy holiday moments in specific intervals and transfer its ownership to your children after you’re no longer around.

However, not all timeshares are alike. For instance, Deeded Timeshares offer a property ownership that is reminiscent of a traditional property ownership model. Owning such a timeshare allows you to rent it out, sell it, or even bequeath it along with its fees to your children or another beneficiary via a Will.

Can You Refuse to Inherit a Timeshare?

Even though timeshare inheritance rules may differ state to state, in general, an inheritance can be refused. This process is labeled as Renunciation of Property. So yes, inheriting a timeshare is not a must and can be rejected if desired.

  • A named heir may opt to refuse a timeshare if they presume it’s more of a financial burden than an asset. Many timeshare owners strategically skip a step by naming their heirs as co-trustees of their timeshare. This method grants the heirs the freedom to choose whether to keep, sell, or abandon the timeshare without having to worry about inherited fees. You could also keep your children’s names off the timeshare deed altogether.
  • In the case that your children inherit the timeshare by default or named in the will, they still have an option to reject it. They can file a written refusal to accept it, known as a Disclaimer of Interest. This step clarifies to all concerned parties that the heirs have no interest in inheriting the timeshare. This way, the responsibility of the timeshare doesn’t unintentionally get pushed onto your children.

Timeshares and Estate Planning

When it comes to safeguarding assets and planning for the unexpected, timeshares aren’t typically top of mind. Yet, they ought to be. As an owner, you want to ensure that your memories are passed on without the accompanying burden of unexpected expenses. To streamline the inheritance process, estate planning plays a crucial role in a well-structured approach to timeshare ownership.

Unlike traditional real estate, timeshares operate quite differently. The Single-site TimeShare Plan establishes a right for a purchaser to use and occupy accommodations within a single property. Despite potential exchange programs, this does not classify the single-site timeshare as a multi-site plan. This significant distinction is fundamental when looking into estate planning for timeshares.

Let’s delve into how timeshares fit into estate planning. A Timeshare Estate is an arrangement where a purchaser not only has a right to use a timeshare property but also holds an estate interest in the real property. As with any asset, following the demise of a timeshare owner, the property becomes part of the decedent’s state. And passing on a Timeshare Interest, which can be an estate or timeshare use, should become an integral part of the owner’s estate planning process.

Good estate planning anticipates and arranges for the distribution of an estate. When setting up an Estate Plan, include your timeshare just as you would other assets. Through sound planning, you can legally designate who stands to inherit your timeshare. However, a key point to remember is that with the transfer of ownership, responsibility for the associated fees also rests on the new owners.

What persistently underline is: don’t leave out assets when planning. If you’ve gone through the trouble and expense of creating a trust, ensure all assets, including the timeshare, are covered. After all, the primary purpose of estate planning is to spare your heirs from the hassles of probate not to lead them right back into it. Planning ahead isn’t just a game of guesswork — it’s a fundamental way to safeguard your assets and help your heirs navigate effortlessly.

1. Selling the Timeshare

When navigating through the nuances of estate planning, selling the timeshare often emerges as a viable option. The process offers a clear path to bypassing the probate procedure altogether. However, one aspect to keep in mind is the challenge attached to it. Notorious for their difficulty to sell, timeshares often fetch only a fraction of their original cost.

Here’s some detail about why selling a timeshare might be a good idea. Established wisdom in estate planning recommends keeping the conversation flowing with potential beneficiaries. By doing this, I’m ensuring that there’s no undue burden placed on my heirs after I’m gone. This openness often steers the conversation towards the practicality of selling the timeshare. After all, why pass a financial burden to your loved ones when there are other possibilities?

Finding a buyer for your timeshare is not necessarily a walk in the park. Yet with strategic planning, it can be done. Many owners turn to timeshare resale companies or online platforms that specialize in timeshare sales. It’s important to conduct thorough research before deciding on one of these avenues as they may have associated costs.

Selling a timeshare and dealing with the complexities of estate planning can seem like a daunting task, especially when doing it alone. It often calls for professional guidance. An estate planning attorney can provide the right direction, and in some cases, even handle the selling process for you.

Looking at the numbers, it’s clear to see why exploring the option of selling is necessary. Timeshares come attached with annual fees and other charges that can add financial strain to the beneficiaries. With the responsibility for these fees transferring to the new owner, the pressure of those costs can weigh heavily on their beneficiaries.

An important fact to remember is that the original price of a timeshare rarely reflects its resale value. Using a trusted agent could make the difference in ensuring a fair price for the share.

However, it’s by orthodox estate planning that we understand the need to consider all options carefully when dealing with timeshares. Selling might be an optimal route at times, bringing closure to probable financial burdens.

2. The Right of Survivorship

Diving deeper into the aspects of timeshare ownership, Joint Tenancy with Right of Survivorship (JTWROS) opens up a clear path. For owners like Megan and Dan, navigating the complexities of estate planning, this concept plays a crucial role.

JTWROS exists to facilitate smooth transition of property rights to the surviving owner upon the death of the other. This avoids the complications, time-consuming probate procedures that often follow the passing of real property owner. It can bypass the inherent hurdles, making the passage of assets less burdensome for grieving heirs.

This said, holding a timeshare through JTWROS may not address every concern. It’s important to recognize that this strategy can sidestep the probate process – a legal proceeding aimed at resolving the disposal of a deceased person’s property. But it may not completely remove potential financial implications.

Details in the chart below highlight why JTWROS could be an advantageous approach for Megan and Dan:

AdvantageDescription
Probate AvoidancePossibility of bypassing lengthy and potentially expensive probate proceedings.
Immediate TransferThe property automatically transfers to the surviving tenant upon an owner’s death.
SimplicityGenerally, a straightforward procedure without the necessity for complex legal maneuvers.

Nevertheless, for some timeshare owners, placing the asset in a revocable trust may be a more beneficial path. This legal entity allows the asset’s control to be transferred upon the owner’s death without the need for probate proceedings. This approach should consider the initial asset’s purchase through the trust or perhaps a subsequent retitle or transfer within the trust, particularly if this was made before the trust’s formation.

Reflecting on the strategies discussed, there’s no ‘one size fits all’. Factors such as personal circumstances, financial considerations, and estate planning goals all influence what might work best for each timeshare owner. And while I am not a trusts and estates attorney, I encourage owners to acquire professional advice tailored to their unique situations.

3. Abandoning the Timeshare

In the vast world of timeshares, one option that appears to surface is that of abandoning the property. Now, it might seem like an extreme step to some, but it’s indeed a route some owners resort to when they find themselves in unable conditions to travel, or if the financial strain grows too much. Case in point, some owners who’ve grown too frail or poor to travel have managed to get the resort to take back their timeshares. Constructive talks with the resort can lead to an easy transition, but it’s not always a sure-fire solution. If a resort refuses to take back the timeshare, the owner may choose to abandon it.

Abandoning the timeshare, however, may not be all rosy and smooth. It can lead to potential collection actions and could hamper the owner’s credit. But in many cases, resorts are unlikely to sue elderly customers over abandoned, paid-off timeshares, particularly as older owners often don’t fuss about their credit scores effect on these actions.

A common fear that looms over the owner’s mind is whether the timeshare companies will pursue offspring and heirs for debts. But it’s worth noting that though they might make assertive claims, there have been no anecdotal stories of this happening so far.

On a strategically different tangent, I’d like to bring up a unique, smart move made by timeshare owners James and Barbara Ruh. Mindful about not letting their children inherit the responsibility of their timeshares after their demise, the Ruhs opted to create a trust. This trust holds their timeshare interests. The children, who co-trust with their parents, get the freedom to either keep, sell, or abandon the timeshares after the parent’s death. This way, they won’t feel the burden of taking over the contracts that they possibly don’t want to handle. Furthermore, the trust also serves as a protective layer against the timeshare resort developer, safeguarding the children from any unpaid or ongoing costs.

The trust route is not just a way to maintain a firm grip over one’s assets, but it also ensures peace of mind for the owner’s heirs, shielding them from potential liabilities.

4. Transfer on Death Affidavit

Transferring a timeshare on death could be a tricky task, and various factors come into play. For instance, changing the title is crucial if one of the sellers is deceased. The title alteration must mirror the current owner. Otherwise, it’d lead to improper ownership transfer as per state law. So, it’s wise to consult a legal advisor or an attorney who dealt with estate and probate affairs.

Different states establish unique statutes and regulations. For example, tactics that worked for your timeshare purchase in Texas may not be valid in neighboring Louisiana. When transferring property, it’s important to adhere to regional laws and stipulations. Blundering with the forms, procedures or misfiguring fees could lead to the refusal and being sent back by the recording office.

In certain regions, sending the new deed to the local town hall clerk’s office is mandatory, just to obtain a stamp affirming all transfer taxes are paid. They’ll require two different checks and mailed envelopes to forward the deed to the County Treasurer’s Office and Clerk of Court.

So, what happens if a spouse dies and the other is incapacitated? Or, let’s say you can’t foresee these elements? In my experience, timeshares in trusts are the wisest approach. You’re avoiding possible multi-state probates – these can be costly. A properly funded trust helps dodge that bullet. Please take note, title companies aren’t a necessity. Perfectly good deed preparation companies exist and typically charge $200-300 per deed to transfer them to a trust.

Bear this fact in mind, it’s not about the asset; it’s about ensuring your estate and children aren’t stuck with a liability they can’t abandon. Creating a trust promotes easy transfer post-death or during incapacity.

5. Deeding the Timeshare into a Trust

In previous sections, we’ve covered the criticality of including timeshares in your estate planning. Introducing yet another vital move that’ll streamline the transition of your timeshare after your death or during incapacity – placing it into a trust. With this approach, you not only dodge potential multi-state probates but also strengthen the simplicity of transfer. Let me take you through the process.

Placing Your Timeshare in an Irrevocable Living Trust

The core objective here is to shift the ownership of your timeshare to the trust, helping to compel a stress-free shift of your property, to another family member, upon your death. In most states, such as Texas, this is a prevalent practice. What’s truly impressive is the power you still retain. Even as a beneficiary of the trust, you can stay in control, using the timeshare at your pleasure.

However, keep in mind that this process could be perceived as an unnecessary expense or complication by some. As I’ve experienced, initial discussions with an attorney might even elicit potential resistance due to the possible hassle of deed modifications and potential bureaucratic intricacies. My advice? Stick with it. With proper help, you’ll manage. I had several attorneys who made everything run smoothly. In fact, they took care of it all, eventually providing me with new deeds with the name of my trust rightfully mentioned.

The Importance of Adhering to State-Dependent Probate Laws

Remember, the placement of your timeshare into a trust can be fundamental in avoiding out-of-state proceedings. Since real property must go through probate in the state where it is located, you’d be susceptible to a Nevada proceeding if, for example, you owned a timeshare there.

It’s crucial to ensure you have full comprehension of these laws and regulations. This knowledge will offer you a clarified understanding of whether your timeshare has been deeded, and thus requires a state-dependent probate, or whether it’s a contractual right, making the transition manageable via your Texan estate planning attorney.

I strongly suggest exploring professional counsel, tailored to your individual circumstances, to gain thorough legal insight. There are anomalies sometimes, like with timeshares in other countries. You’ll likely need to delve deeper into the respective legislations. However, these extra efforts are truly worth the long-term benefits.

But what happens to your timeshare when you die?

As a timeshare owner, it’s important to understand what happens to your property upon your passing. In many cases, a timeshare becomes part of your estate, and your heirs inherit it. However, it should be noted that not all heirs may want this ‘gift’. Let’s delve deeper into this topic.

I’ve Inherited a Timeshare! Now What?

It’s been found that many timeshare owners want their experiences passed on to friends or family. Still, inheriting a timeshare doesn’t automatically make you liable for the property. To become liable, new documentation must be signed. If you’re the new owner, timeshare companies need you to sign a new document for it. Now, if your children or relatives do not desire the timeshare, excluding it entirely from your living trust may be the best choice.

A Word About Probate

Once a timeshare owner passes, the timeshare becomes subject to probate. Probate may be quick or lengthy, depending on the state laws and asset value involved. Now, during the probate process, your beneficiaries won’t able to use the timeshare. The executor of the estate is responsible for making time and maintenance fee payments while the timeshare is in probate. To keep your timeshare out of probate, consider adding your child beneficiaries to the deed as co-owners before your passing or placing the timeshare in a revocable trust.

Obligations and Responsibilities of Ownership

Timeshare agreements customarily contain a perpetuity clause stating the timeshare is valid for the original owner’s lifespan. Upon the owner’s passing, the inheritors, now new owners, have an obligation to take over the timeshare fees. However, timeshare owners, James and Barbara Ruh, found a way around this by creating a trust to hold their timeshare interests. Their daughters, as co-trustees, can keep, sell, or even abandon the timeshare after their parents’ passing. This strategy prevents the resort developer from charging their daughters for any overdue or ongoing costs.

Should You Transfer The Timeshare?

Timeshares provide an avenue to own part of a vacation property. A thoughtfully set up timeshare takes care of vacationing during your lifetime and transferring ownership afterward to your children. However, if your children would prefer not inheriting it because of changes in lifestyles or the burden of ongoing maintenance fees, it is a good option to consider transferring the timeshare to a revocable trust. This approach is an effective way to manage the post-death transfer while keeping cost-associated multi-state probates at bay.

For a more efficient and hassle-free transfer, professional legal counsel can guide you on the way to manage this legally within your estate planning. The process may seem to have its complications, but proper planning of timeshares can help stave off inconveniences and disputes that may arise after your passing.

The Case for Owning Your Timeshare in Your Trust

Let’s talk about why having your timeshare in your trust could be beneficial, especially from the perspective of minimizing future complications. For starters, your trust beneficiaries will inherit not only the timeshare but also the responsibilities that come with it; this includes maintenance fees and special assessment obligations. This all falls under the contract that binds the trust.

You may be thinking, what happens if my beneficiaries aren’t interested in the timeshare? That’s a valid question. In such an instance, your trustee would then attempt to sell the timeshare on the open market. But, fair warning, the market for timeshares can be fairly limited. While there are websites where you can list your timeshare for sale or offer to rent out your weeks, it’s worth noting that it’s uncommon for people to sell their timeshares for even a small fraction of their original buying price.

Here comes the trickier part. What if you are considering walking away from your timeshare while you are alive? Be aware that many timeshare companies can make this process quite challenging. They are known for their tactics of pressuring timeshare owners to settle their annual maintenance fees – often resorting to threats of litigation and using collection agencies.

But here’s a silver lining: if you believe the timeshare no longer provides the value it once did and foresee that neither your children nor other family members would want to inherit it, you can consider leaving it out of your living trust. The great part is that many timeshare contracts have clauses allowing them to terminate at the owner’s death. Still, keep in mind that if your trust owns the timeshare, this type of provision may not apply since a trust cannot “die,” and the trust would continue to be obligated.

In this complex landscape, what’s clear is that careful planning is essential when it comes to managing your timeshare and considering trusts as a vehicle of ownership. Awareness of obligations, market trends, and contractual provisions can help in making informed decisions.

Reasons Not to Title Your Timeshare in the Name of Your Trust

It’s clear that timeshares add another layer of complexity to estate planning. While placing your timeshare in a trust can provide benefits, it’s not always the best move. It can bring about responsibilities that might weigh heavily on the trustee. Plus, the timeshare market’s unpredictability can make it a challenging asset to manage.

Remember, timeshare companies often use high-pressure tactics to enforce maintenance fees. So, it’s crucial to stay vigilant and informed about your contractual obligations. Estate planning with timeshares requires careful thought and strategic decision-making. It’s not just about inheritance; it’s about making the right choices for your loved ones’ future.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if I inherit a timeshare and I don’t want it?

In most scenarios, you can decline an inheritance, including a timeshare, typically through a disclaimer document. If you do not wish to take the ownership of the timeshare, it will usually be passed on to the next-of-kin.

What happens if I stop paying my timeshare?

Failure to maintain timeshare payments may result in legal action by the timeshare company based on the specifications in your contract. Your timeshare may go into foreclosure, effectively eliminating your ownership rights.

What assets should not be in a trust?

Items such as qualified retirement accounts, Health and Medical saving accounts, Uniform Transfers to Minors and Uniform Gifts to Minors, life insurance and motor vehicles are generally not recommended to be transferred into a trust.

Can I put my timeshare in a trust?

Yes, transferring a timeshare into a revocable trust is a favorable option. As a trustee, you will retain ownership of the timeshare throughout your life, and after your passing, it will be held in trust and used by the beneficiaries.

Why are timeshares so hard to get out of?

Timeshares can be difficult to exit due to specific clauses in the contract. Provisions such as the right of refusal, right of survivorship and perpetuity clause may be present in timeshare agreements, creating obstacles for owner exit.