Inheriting a timeshare | Our guide for what you need to know.
Why have I inherited a timeshare?
Many people who own a timeshare eventually realise that they would sooner be rid of it due to a variety of factors. These factors may include rising costs and lowering standards at their resort, and they may take steps to leave their contracts as they get older to ensure that the burden of their timeshare is not passed on to their loved ones. However, some owners of timeshare genuinely cherish their timeshare investment and may have enjoyed their holidays in their chosen resort for many years. As a result, they may decide to gift their beloved timeshare to their family in their will in the hopes that others can enjoy their chosen timeshare as much as they did. Unfortunately, the reality is that almost all recipients of a bequeathed timeshare property see this as a huge burden to carry rather than a lovely gift to inherit. Not only did the recipient not have any choice in the resort itself, but they may enjoy the flexibility of getting to travel where they want when they want without the pressure of mounting yearly maintenance fees to pay and the stress of trying to book time off for a specific week. Timeshare also carries a negative value – meaning they are worth less than what they were bought for.
You may have been the recipient of such a timeshare ‘gift’, or perhaps you inherited by default because your loved ones passed away before making a will and their contract specified that the responsibility of maintenance payments would be passed on to their next of kin, children or spouse. In either circumstance, you may be left wondering, “How on earth can I get out of this contract?”. The good news is that there are steps you can take to be free of this unwanted timeshare burden. Read on for the steps you should consider.
What steps can I take to be free of the timeshare?
Don’t visit the property
Our first piece of advice is: never visit your unwanted inherited timeshare property. Don’t show interest in the property by going on a visit to ‘check it out’ and certainly do not use the resort to holiday in if you are wanting to be free of the timeshare. By visiting or taking a holiday in the timeshare resort, you have shown some legitimate interest in your inheritance and it can make it much more difficult to legally help you out of your contract. If you have done so before realising this was a mistake don’t panic – a specialist timeshare lawyer may still be able to help you navigate your unwanted timeshare inheritance. In these circumstances it is crucial you do seek the help of an experienced professional to avoid being trapped in your unwanted timeshare contract.
Look into your contract
One of the first steps you should take if you are the recipient of an inherited timeshare is to read through the contract. You will want to read through to try and find evidence of the length of the contract. If it exceeds 50 years, or, if it has no specified end date then you are holding an illegal contract and with the help of a specialist, you will not only be freed of your contract but may also be entitled to timeshare compensation.
You should also look for the clause that gives information regarding what should be done with the timeshare in the event of the timeshare holder’s death. It is unlikely, but, occasionally timeshare contracts do state that the responsibility of the agreement is annulled in the event of death. If there is no such statement, then a timeshare lawyer will be able to guide you through the legal process of disclaiming the contract.
Hire a professional to disclaim your contract
Disclaiming your timeshare inheritance is the best way to be free of your unwanted timeshare for good. There is a limited time period after you have inherited to sign a written refusal of the timeshare and this, in turn, must be filed within the period to be valid and legal. Once your disclaimer is signed your timeshare solicitor will get to work on further steps to ensure that your contract is nullified. It is important to note that if you have been gifted timeshare as a minor, the responsibility will be passed as soon as you come of age so you will need to act quickly from that point.
Another important aspect of signing a written refusal is that often this can mean the timeshare is simply passed to the next in line. It is worth speaking to your family and loved ones so everyone is clear on where they stand legally and what steps they will have to take to be free of this unwanted ‘gift’.
What should I do next if I have inherited a timeshare property?
Get in touch with Athena Law today for professional, friendly advice that you can really trust. Unfortunately, any death inevitably will lead to legal issues that need to be taken care of. Often, it comes at the worst possible time as you are coping with a loss and then the unexpected burden and stress to deal with.
Our team of dedicated, expert timeshare solicitors will work closely with you to guide you through the process of your unwanted inheritance with as little interruption for you as possible. We have years of experience in this industry and many success stories for clients who have been in your position, and we may be able to help you too. We promise to beat any quote you are given and if we feel there are strong grounds for your case we may be willing to represent you on a no win no fee basis.
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