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Options for transferring a timeshare to your beneficiaries

Timeshares are great for those seeking a getaway, but they aren't easy to deal with in an estate plan. Aside from finding someone who wants to maintain these vacation ownerships, you need to find a way to incorporate these into your plan so your beneficiaries don't have to deal with probate in a different state.

Thankfully, there are a couple of methods you could use to minimize the issues that come with transferring this property. It's important that you are aware of the advantages and disadvantages that come with these options so you can determine the best way to give your favorite vacation spot to someone who can make new memories.

Add heirs as joint tenants

Making someone the co-owner of the timeshare means that the property is solely theirs after you die, eliminating the need for probate. This also gives you the chance to teach them about this ownership directly. Some inheritors are able to manage their properties better if they have some firsthand experience before becoming the sole owner.

Unfortunately, any financial problems they experience while co-owning the timeshare become your problems as well. Complications can arise if they divorce, lose their job or file for bankruptcy during this period. You'll also have to discuss when one of you wants to use the timeshare or whether or not you want to sell or transfer it to someone else in the future since you no longer have sole control.

Include it in a revocable living trust

If you prefer having full control over your timeshare until your death, this is the option to take. You won't have anyone to worry about but yourself as you continue taking these vacations, and you can sell or transfer it anytime you like if you change your mind sometime in the future. Once you die, your successor trustee settles the trust outside of court to avoid the lengthy probate process.

The downside is that it can feel overwhelming having to manage a timeshare alongside all the other assets you include in your trust. If you don't have any co-owner established, you also can't split expenses either.

Without proper preparation, maintaining a timeshare can be difficult after you retire. An estate planning attorney can help you determine the best way for you to transfer your condominium vacations to your loved ones if you have trouble deciding on what method.

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