People from all over the nation have purchased timeshares here in Florida. From Cocoa to Orlando and from Miami to Jacksonville (and all places in between), timeshares are to be had for those wanting to escape the cold for a warm beach. Of course, Brevard County residents also buy timeshares in exotic spots around the U.S., including Hawaii, Colorado and California.
A recent news article delved into one of the problems with timeshares: what to do with them in estate plans and how to ensure no one gets stuck with timeshare obligations they don’t want.
The Associated Press look at the case of a married California couple with a timeshare in Hawaii. They didn’t want their daughters to feel obligated to take the timeshare obligations when they die, so they created a trust.
The co-trustee daughters can hang on to the timeshares, sell them or simply abandon the contracts when their parents die, the AP article states. The trust shields the offspring from any attempts by timeshare developers to collect on any unpaid costs.
There are other ways of limiting timeshare liability, the AP notes, so that no one gets a timeshare they don’t want or need.
- One way to deal with the potential problem: sell or give away interest in the timeshare before death. It makes sense here to make sure financing used to buy the timeshare has been paid off. In some cases, resorts will take back their timeshares, and failing that, owners can abandon the arrangement (though this might lead to collection actions).
- Another way: Don’t put your kids’ names on the deed. Also, don’t have the children pay maintenance fees directly – those fees should always be drawn from the parents’ accounts.
If you have questions about how to best distribute assets in your estate plan, contact a Brevard County attorney experienced in the creation of wills and trusts that protect you and your children.