By Robin Crouch
A timeshare is essentially the purchase of a period of time for a vacation. Timeshare owners receive a legal deed to property, but don’t actually own a particular room or suite. You own the right to use the property for a certain time period, usually a week. The period of time varies widely as does the place and lodging. Timeshares have grown to include resorts, condos, houses, castles, RVs, yachts, and even trains. Almost all timeshares are resort or vacation properties.
One of the main money traps in timeshare ownership is the maintenance fee. During the first few years of ownership, maintenance fees may be fairly low. The average cost of maintenance fees in the US is $800 per year.
There are other costs to consider as well, such as travel to that far away spot, financing, cost of exchanges and points to upgrade your accommodations, taxes and surcharges, not to mention the loss of income you could have if your money wasn’t tied up in the timeshare. Adding the additional yearly costs into the equation could easily total $2,500.00 or more per year. One thing is certain; a timeshare owner will continue to pay for the use of a timeshare, year after year. Owning a timeshare is like being married; it’s a lifelong commitment, that money is spent. If you don’t like owning a timeshare, divorce is difficult and costly. Resale value is low and true timeshare dumps are almost impossible to find.
Now consider a Timeshare Inheritance. Your parents kicked up their heels in Branson, had a lovely time at Dollywood, and thoroughly enjoyed the snorkeling in Aruba. What can you do if you inherit a timeshare that you can’t afford or don’t want?
Few people realize that when you are bequeathed an inheritance, you have the choice of acceptance or not. You can choose to refuse or disclaim an inheritance. In the case of timeshare property, this is a viable alternative to inheriting something you don’t want or can’t use.
If you inherit a timeshare, it’s important to examine all of your options. Do some research into what owning a timeshare involves and make an educated decision whether it is something you want or can use. Don’t end up bearing the burden of an unwanted timeshare until you can bequeath it to someone else.
When you choose to refuse an inheritance there are several qualifications that have to be met. You must file your Disclaimer of Interest within a certain period of time and can’t have all ready accepted your bequest or used it an any way to benefit yourself. You have no say as to what happens to it, and you cannot change your mind.
A qualified elder law attorney can help through the process of considering your options and following-up on your decision. Give your office a call if we can help.