How to legally refuse a timeshare inheritance
When I lost my dad last year, he left me his favorite vehicle, a suburban. While it gets horrible gas mileage, I still treasure the truck because I feel so close to him every time I drive it.
What if he had left me a timeshare instead? Unless that property possessed tremendous sentimental value or I knew that I would use it on a regular, long-term basis, I’d be wise to refuse it. That’s because timeshares come with high, mandatory, annual maintenance fees. Even a “free” timeshare will cost much more than you might imagine in the long run.
If you are bequeathed a timeshare that you don’t want or can’t use, here’s how to legally disclaim it:
File a “Disclaimer of Interest”, this is a written refusal to accept the timeshare. A qualified estate attorney can help you with the paperwork.
- File your disclaimer on time. Laws vary, but you’ll usually have about nine months from the date of death…unless you’re a minor, then the clock starts when you turn 21.
- Have the executor of the estate send a copy of the death certificate to the property management company in order to stop them from demanding maintenance fees. Also, if the unit has a mortgage, have the executor send the resort or bank a copy of the death certificate to stop them from putting the property into foreclosure.
- Be sure of your decision. Once you file a Disclaimer of Interest, your decision is permanent. In other words, you will have renounced your interest and won’t be able to give the property to charity or your best friend.
- Inform your family and friends. In general, if you refuse a timeshare, it will go to the next person in line to inherit. If that person doesn’t want it, they too must file their own Disclaimer of Interest.
- A word of warning. You can’t legally disclaim a timeshare that you’ve used to benefit yourself after an inheritance. You can’t even vacation there, “just to check it out.” Otherwise you might be paying those maintenance fees until you yourself will the property.
These are only general guidelines. You will need to consult an attorney to help you through this process as it will vary from state to state. To learn more about how to get rid of your timeshare now, check out this article outlining options for unhappy timeshare owners, or call Timeshare Specialists at 1-800-965-6565.
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