Timeshare Real Estate and Your Inheritence

Timeshare Real Estate and Your Family
Timeshare Real Estate and Your Family

There’s a growing trend you may not be aware of; it’s call inheritance travel. Despite the challenges of the current economy, there are still individuals who have the capacity to set up trust funds—sometimes substantial ones– for their heirs. A growing number of these wealthy individuals are creating legacy travel trusts, which are funds set aside solely for travel experiences. Ironically although the inheritance of unwanted timeshares is not always appreciated, when planned with forethought,  timeshare real estate can be an ideal way for even moderate income individuals to leave their love ones a travel inheritance.

The trend toward inheritance travel is becoming so defined that in some cities you will find law firms and travel agencies working collaboratively on the services they offer their clients. As one attorney points out, when you leave cash to your heirs that money is exposed to divorce, your heir’s creditors, and other circumstances that make it vulnerable. Additionally a cash inheritance can be spent in ways that the family member leaving the legacy never intended and would never wish to support. A travel inheritance is one way to ensure that the money you leave behind is spent in ways with which you would  feel comfortable.

A travel inheritance can come with stipulations and they can be as many or as few as the person leaving the legacy wants to create. Often the individual making the bequest will have the intent of keeping his children connected to each other through travel, inspiring a trip to a family’s homeland, or encouraging a religious pilgrimage.

But what if you don’t have so much money to leave behind that you can set up a trust fund that will earn sufficient interest and not be soon depleted? This is when willing  timeshare real estate to your heirs can be an excellent option.

What to Consider Before You Will Your Timeshare Real Estate to Your Heirs

Before you even consider leaving someone the responsibility of a timeshare, you should first recognize that many of the timeshares that wind up on the timeshare resale market today are timeshares that were acquired as part of an inheritance.

  • An inherited timeshare is not an appreciated legacy if the recipient can’t afford the resort’s annual fees, or the travel to the resort.
  • Not all timeshares can be bequeathed to someone else. Read your deed or ask your home resort if you are uncertain whether your timeshare is owned as real property that can be left to your heirs.
  • Don’t try to surprise someone with the gift of timeshare. Ask them if they would like to inherit the property or membership. If you already own the property, you might  gift them the use of one of your timeshare weeks so they can experience the resort for themselves and decide if your gift would be right for them.
  • Be meticulous in weighing the positives and negatives. Timeshare is a great way for families to vacation together and ideal for special events such as reunions. But timeshare is not right for everyone, and may not be right for the way your heirs like to vacation.
  • If you are able, consider, setting up a trust fund to cover your heir’s annual timeshare fees and even travel costs to the resort.
  • Also consider the flexibility  and overall desirability of the timeshare itself before you leave it to someone else. Look at the potential for timeshare resale should your heirs one day wish or need to sell the property. No timeshare currently resells for as much as it did initially but some resorts and resort brands resale more easily than do others.

Timeshare as an inheritance gift can either be deeply appreciated or an unwanted responsibility. Talk to your attorney or financial planner in making your decision. If you make careful choices, the gift of timeshare can be an affordable way to pass on to your loved ones a legacy of great vacations and time shared together.