03 Jun My dad had a timeshare and died without a will. I don’t want it.
Q. My father died without a will. He had a timeshare. I didn’t claim the timeshare in probate and I had no interest in it. The timeshare company was notified of his death, but they keep sending letters to him. What’s my responsibility here?
A. We’re sorry to hear about your father.
Some timeshare owners love their week or two away, while others find the ongoing expenses not worth it.
When a timeshare owner dies, the timeshare typically becomes part of the deceased owner’s estate, said Shirley Whitenack, an estate planning attorney with Schenck, Price, Smith & King in Florham Park.
Therefore, she said, the contractual obligations of the timeshare owner become the responsibility of the next-of-kin or the beneficiaries of the estate.
“The executor or administrator of the estate should read the timeshare contract to determine the financial and legal obligations under the contract,” she said.
You didn’t say where the timeshare is. That’s important because the laws pertaining to timeshare agreements and inheritances vary from state to state, Whitenack said.
But here’s what’s important: Next-of-kin and estate beneficiaries can decline an inheritance, including a timeshare, typically by signing and filing a disclaimer document.
If payments are not made on the timeshare, fees and penalties may accrue and the property manager might institute legal proceedings against the estate. However, Whitenack said, if the property is disclaimed by all of the heirs, the property manager would probably foreclose on the timeshare and any accrued debt would have to be paid through estate assets, if any.
“The foreclosure should not affect the credit of those who disclaimed the timeshare,” she said.
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This story was originally published on June 3, 2019.
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