Will My Son Get Stuck With My Timeshare When I Die?

Dear Penny,

My husband and I purchased several timeshares over the years. (Apparently, I can’t say no.) My husband has now died, and I am 72.

Supposedly, one of the benefits of a timeshare is that your children can inherit it. However, our adult son has no interest in inheriting these “vacation opportunities,” nor in being obligated to pay the ongoing maintenance fees. How can I protect him from inheriting the timeshares, which include the burden of paying the annual fees or risking damage to his credit rating for not paying?


Dear J.,

Timeshares are often sold on the promise of idyllic family memories that can continue for generations to come. Instead, they turn out to be a financial albatross for countless buyers. That’s why eBay is filled with listings from desperate owners seeking to unload their “vacation investments” ” for as little as $1.

But I have good news: Saying no to buying a timeshare can be tough after a high-pressure sales pitch that stretches on for hours. But it’s fairly easy to say no to inheriting a timeshare in most situations.

In most cases, a timeshare will become part of your estate when you die. If you included it in your willit would go through probate and pass to the beneficiary of your choosing. You could also transfer it directly to a beneficiary through a trust or joint tenancy titling should you know someone who actually wants a timeshare. If you die without a will or the timeshare for some reason isn’t included, your state’s intestacy laws would determine who inherits it. That would probably be your son, assuming he’s your only child.

When you die, your son could file what’s called a disclaimer of interest with the probate court and send a copy of each disclaimer to your estate’s executor, along with the timeshare companies. Basically, he’d be rejecting the inheritance.

Your son wouldn’t need to reject his entire inheritance if you have other assets that you plan to…

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