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The relationship between timeshares and probate

On Behalf of | Oct 9, 2019 | Probate Litigation, Will Execution |

Timeshares are a booming business in Florida. The industry recently experienced its ninth consecutive year of growth, making it abundantly clear that people in Florida and around the country have a vested interest in these investments. 

Timeshares are hotbeds around the state, but it is important to recognize that they do constitute as property. Each year, people who own timeshares pass away, and in many cases, they did not lay out a proper path to transfer the property. If you own a timeshare, then here is what you need to know about putting it into probate so that you can pass it onto your loved ones. 

The only way to transfer a Florida timeshare

There are three ways by which a Florida resident can transfer a timeshare to a loved one. The first is through a probate court administration. You can add certain parties to the title of the timeshare via a deed transfer. Lastly, you can distribute the property through a trust. However, the vast majority of timeshare transfers that happen in Florida occur through probate. The probate administration must occur in Florida. Before going any further, it is vital to recognize that the probate process costs money, and it will expose you to claims potentially made by creditors. 

Potential problems with timeshare transfers

Practically every timeshare has continuous monthly, quarterly or yearly maintenance payments the owner has to make. These function basically as a homeowner’s association fee. They help maintain the ongoing repair to fix up the resort where your timeshare is. Failure to make these payments may result in a foreclosure on the timeshare. Someone who is not the legal owner of the timeshare cannot rent it out, making it impossible to make the payments. This is why it is so critical to plan accordingly. Failure to plan for the lawful transfer of a timeshare can result in losing the property, and loved ones miss out on a valid income source.