Is inheriting a timeshare a good thing?

Did you know that back in the US 9.2 million people own at least one shared vacation product or timeshare? The timeshare industry is enjoying steady growth. From $4.6 billion in net sales in 2010, the figure has increased to $9.2 billion in 2016.

But half of all new sales come from existing owners rather than new buyers. It’s common knowledge that timeshare has an unfavorable rep. If this is true, how come existing owners keep on buying timeshares?

Well, it’s hard not to listen to the sales pitches. Timeshare companies have outstanding salespeople who can seduce anybody into buying their product and seriously, there is nothing wrong with that. The fact is, there are many satisfied timeshare owners. How else can the industry enjoy a steady growth if there aren’t?

However, while there are owners who continue to enjoy their vacation lifestyle, there are also timeshare owners who want out. In the US, the average timeshare price nowadays is around $20,000 plus other fees. Some of the owners can no longer afford the rising costs, others are unhappy with the outdated properties or have outgrown the lifestyle.

The thing is, exiting a timeshare is difficult. Consider yourself lucky if you can find a buyer who is willing to pay a fraction of your investment; lucky because even though you did not recoup your investment, you can now stop paying for the other fees that go up annually.  

One of the selling points in a timeshare is you can pass it on to your children and they can pass it on to theirs. But is that a good thing?

Issues in Inheriting a Timeshare

  1. Children may not afford the lifestyle their parents had. If their parents were retirees at the time they got their timeshare, they had all the time to go on vacation. As a result, they benefited a lot from having the timeshare. If the children who inherited it are still building their careers or raising little kids of their own, vacation will probably take a backseat. The timeshare will be unused and worse, they will have to pay the maintenance fees and others that come with it.
  2. There are instances when people do not know they have inherited a timeshare. It can be passed on not just from parents to children but between siblings. It can happen that a recipient is not informed that he is a beneficiary. Some just had the biggest shock of their life knowing that they own a timeshare that has months of unpaid maintenance fees.
  3. If the beneficiary refuses to accept the timeshare, he can file a disclaimer. It will then go to the next beneficiary under the will. It will always be passed down to somebody.

If you consider the timeshare more of a hassle than an asset, there are ways you can let go of it. No one has to be burdened by unwanted timeshare including the debts and bills that go with it. Help can be had from third-party exit companies that can handle situations on a case-to-case basis. The bottom line is, you can go to the timeshare company, put in writing that you do not want the timeshare and are willing to sell or give it back to them. They cannot go after you because you are not the buyer.

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