How to address your timeshare in your estate planning

On Behalf of | Apr 12, 2024 | Estate Planning

Nevada, the “Silver State,” is synonymous with glitz, glamour and sunshine. Many flock to this desert oasis to experience the thrill of Las Vegas or the serenity of Lake Tahoe. For some, Nevada becomes a home away from home, thanks to the allure of timeshare ownership. You may enjoy a timeshare of your own.

What happens to your timeshare when you’re gone? Just like any other asset, addressing your timeshare in your estate plan properly can help ensure a smooth transfer of property for your loved ones.

Understanding your timeshare ownership

The first step is understanding how you own your timeshare. There are two main structures:

  • Deeded ownership: This grants you a specific interest in the property, similar to owning a piece of real estate.
  • Right-to-use: This grants you the right to occupy the unit during a designated period each year.

The ownership structure impacts how you include your timeshare in your estate plan.

Planning for your timeshare’s future

Many timeshare contracts allow you to designate a beneficiary who will automatically inherit your ownership interest upon your passing. Check your timeshare agreement for specific instructions to help ensure it’s up-to-date.

Additionally, a will can allow you to specify who will inherit your timeshare, but it goes through probate, a potentially lengthy and public court process. On the other hand, a living trust avoids probate by transferring ownership of the timeshare to the trust while you’re alive. You retain control during your lifetime, and upon your passing, the terms of the trust dictate how the timeshare is distributed.

You should know that timeshares can be challenging to sell traditionally. Consider exploring options offered by your timeshare company, such as renting out your timeshare or relinquishing ownership through a program they may have. This can be a good option if you feel your inheritors might not want the ongoing maintenance fees associated with the timeshare.

Timeshares can be wonderful assets, providing treasured vacation memories for generations. By addressing your timeshare in your estate plan, you can help to ensure a smooth transfer of interests for your loved ones and avoid any confusion or complications down the road. Remember, consulting with a reliable legal team may be vital to help ensure your wishes are carried out effectively. With a well-crafted plan, you can help to ensure that your legacy extends beyond just the memories you create at your favorite getaway.