Probate for a Timeshare?

In Common Florida Probate Questions by Long

[lastupdated] Florida probate for Timeshares

There’s been an influx of calls from prospective clients who are interested in the probate of a Florida timeshare.

Timeshare interests are similar to any other real estate interest with regard to the purchase and sale formalities. A timeshare has a legal description and is/was transferred by deed. It is indeed an interest in real estate and not personal property as one might think.

Should you go through probate to inherit a timeshare?

Well, the real question is whether or not you intend to use the timeshare or sell it at a reasonable profit. If you stand to receive very little benefit from the timeshare and it’s the only real asset of the estate, it might not be worth it.

Here are a few points to consider if the only asset in the estate is a timeshare*:

  1. Timeshares, generally speaking, are VERY hard to sell unless they are the cream of the crop.
  2. As with any other probate case, despite what a Last Will might say, you do not own it until you go through probate.
  3. If the timeshare management company asks you to simply quit claim deed the interest back to them (and be relieved of the costs), you should know that you cannot deed any interest that you do not yet own (see #2).
  4. Furthermore, you have NO obligation to deal with the timeshare. Yes, you will lose it, but no, you don’t have to continue to pay the maintenance fees if you don’t want to deal with it.
  5. Timeshares may make a comeback, but that’s purely speculation. If you think you’ll use it, then it’s probably worth the cost of going through probate. If not, don’t even bother with it.

*Above I note that these considerations make sense if the only asset is a timeshare. Having said that, understand that the association/management company could file a creditor’s claim against an estate that is in probate for other assets.

For example:

Mary, a Georgia resident dies leaving an estate that must be probated. Outside of GA, she also owns a timeshare interest in Orlando. Should her personal representative choose to ignore her Orlando timeshare, the association could file a claim against the GA probate estate just like any other creditor.

Takeaway: It’s important to look at the bigger picture if you’re considering walking from a timeshare inheritance. Determine a strategy with a Florida probate attorney and if necessary, execute.