July 30, 2018
I know many people who love timeshares. That is, the option to be a part owner of a property which is used for getaways and vacations. Even though a deeded timeshare is an interest in real property, it is usually more of a luxury than an asset. Even if the mortgage is paid, there are continued maintenance fees and property taxes that will need to be paid for as long as a person owns it.
However, when a timeshare owner dies, the fees and taxes will continue to pile up, regardless if anyone uses the property. Even if you choose to sell the timeshare down the road, the estate is liable for all of these delinquent fees. And, unfortunately, timeshares are notoriously hard to sell, so those costs can add up fast.
If timeshares are deeded (and not leased) they are considered real property interests. Once the owner dies, the laws of the state where the timeshare is located are to be followed. If the title is held in joint tenancy with right of survivorship, then the surviving joint tenant files an affidavit of death of joint tenant to remove the deceased’s name from the title. However, if title is held in a trust, the trust controls who inherits the timeshare without probate no matter where the timeshare is located.
Another option for transferring ownership without going to probate court is to use an “Affidavit Re Real Property of Small Value.” The affidavit is a declaration signed by a person who is entitled to ownership of the timeshare such as a child or grandchild of the deceased. This procedure is available if the descendent died with less than$150,000 of which less than $50,000 is real property.
If you have inherited a timeshare, it’s best to speak to a qualified attorney who can help you decide whether or not to keep the property. If you’d like to speak with our California estate planning attorneys, simply call our Folsom law firm at (916) 241-9661 to schedule a consultation.