If you’ve been “gifted” a timeshare property through an inheritance, you might be looking to disinherit or reject it.
We can’t blame you. Money expert Clark Howard calls timeshares “a defective product” and says that “when you buy a timeshare, the next day it’s worth less than zero — because, basically, there are no buyers.”
The same goes for inheriting a timeshare. Unless the property is one that has been in your family for a while and you’re sure that you’ll take full advantage of it, there’s a good chance that you don’t want to take on the many expenses associated with owning one.
In this article, we’ll go over how to disclaim a timeshare if you’ve inherited one against your will. Keep in mind that the process for doing this can vary from state to state. You’ll want to check the laws where you live, but in general the process should be pretty much the same.
Inherit a Timeshare You Don’t Want? Here’s What To Do
If you are either left a timeshare in a will or are the legal heir of someone who owned a timeshare and died without a will, you may choose to refuse to accept your inheritance. In legal terms, this is generally called “renunciation of property.”
Here are the keys to doing that in Team Clark’s home state of Georgia. As we mentioned, the laws in your state might vary slightly, but if you Google “renunciation of property + (your state name)” you should be able to get the details:
1. Act Quickly
First of all, it’s important not to drag your feet if you inherit a timeshare or other property you don’t want.
In the state of Georgia, you only have nine months from the time you inherit a property to refuse it. If you are under 21 years old when you inherit the property, you have nine months from the time you turn 21 to do it.
It’s very important that you not use the timeshare or receive any sort of compensation from it during these nine months. If you do, you’ll give up your right to refuse the property.
2. Draw Up a Document Renouncing the Timeshare
Once you’ve determined that you want to refuse your inheritance, you need to draw up a document. This document should include:
- A description of the property. If you don’t have this already, you should be able to get it from the executor of the estate.
- A statement declaring your renunciation and the extent of it. In this case you will want to renounce the timeshare forever.
- Your name and signature.
3. Send Copies of Your Renunciation via Certified Mail to Interested Parties
Next, you should make several copies of the document. Keep one for yourself and send a copy via certified mail to the executor of the estate and one to the timeshare company itself.
4. File a Copy of the Renunciation in Probate Court
Finally, you’ll want to file a copy of your renunciation in the county probate court where the estate that’s willed you the timeshare is being handled. This will serve as an official record of your renunciation in case it is ever questioned.
As you can see, refusing the inheritance of a timeshare shouldn’t require too much effort on your part. Just remember to act within the allotted period of time in your state to make sure you’re not stuck with something you don’t want and is nearly impossible to get rid of.
Of course, another option that could help you avoid all of this in the first place is to be proactive. If you have parents or other relatives who own timeshares and have expressed an interest in willing them to you, you could politely let them know now that you’d rather not be an heir to one and avoid headaches later.
Questions about timeshares? The Consumer Action Center is a free helpline you can call: 470-284-7137.