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Passing a timeshare to your heirs

Timeshares are often an excellent way to maintain vacation homes for a fraction of the price of purchasing or leasing a condo. However, many people in Florida have discovered that these properties are sometimes difficult to sell when no longer necessary.

One of the more unfortunate circumstances is when a parent or grandparent leaves an unwanted vacation property in an estate without making specific provisions on its distribution or its sale. It is often possible to avoid this type of circumstance with a relatively small amount of preparation.

The first step is typically to understand the timeshare sales process. Sometimes, this is straightforward. In other cases, such as many resort properties, there are terms in the purchase agreements that could make it more difficult to sell the parcel of real estate. Furthermore, as illustrated on CNBC.com, unwary heirs may inherit a vacation property they have no time to use along with its ever-rising annual maintenance fees.

As explained in the Sun-Sentinel, there are a variety of ways that people could potentially incorporate a timeshare into their estate plans. While these might be limited by the terms of the timeshare agreement, they could include establishing a trust or funding a life estate with the property. 

The Sun-Sentinel article is a question-and-answer format, and largely assumes that people would want to include their timeshares in their estates. However, others could opt for selling the property and distributing the proceeds of the sale rather than the property itself. There is no universal solution for dealing with real estate in this manner. Rather, it is best to develop a strategy based on individual needs and real financial situations.

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