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How not to inherit timeshares from parents

Not all parents in Florida prefer to pass everything down to their heirs. This is especially true of timeshare properties that have contracts attached along with an assortment of responsibilities. Annual maintenance fees, for instance, can easily exceed $1,000 for higher-end properties. Plus, owners may have to foot some of the bill if a property sustains damage from a natural disaster. One way to avoid passing ownership onto heirs is to create a trust to hold timeshare interests.

While there are many wonderful things about including trusts in estate planning efforts, some beneficiaries may not be so thrilled about related attendant hassles and expenses. Fortunately, there are other ways to avoid passing along timeshare ownership. In situations where it's clear that grown children aren't interested in a timeshare and owners are in poor health, it may be possible to ask the resort to take back the timeshare if all financing has been paid off.

It's also possible for owners to abandon timeshares if the resort refuses to take it back. While this may lead to collection efforts, resorts don't usually pursue legal action against elderly owners with paid-off timeshares. Additionally, it's advisable that parents avoid adding their kids' names to the deed. What this does is essentially "trap" heirs into owning timeshare properties. Even if children's names were already added to the deed, parents can ask to have them removed if there's no outstanding loan.

Even when wills have bequests in them that pass along timeshares, an estate planning attorney can offer advice to avoid inheriting ownership. One option is to file a written disclaimer of interest. It's basically a document that allows an heir to state they have no interest in a specific timeshare property nor do they want it. An heir can also disclaim any previous interest they may have had in timeshare properties.

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