Timeshares are real property. Change of owners of real property is by deed filed in the state where the real property is located. Each state has its own rules. This page provides an overview of the rules in the states of California, Hawaii, and Nevada.
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California tracks real property owners by county. For example, owners record their Timeshare deeds in the same county where the timeshare resort is located. In addition, all counties in California require an additional document known as a “Preliminary Change of Ownership Report.” Many counties, but not all, also require a tax affidavit.
In Hawaii, owners file with a statewide government agency called the “Bureau of Conveyances.” The Bureau is also known as the “Regular System.” In addition, Hawaii requires a transfer tax declaration filed with the deed.
Nevada, like California, tracks real property by county. Nevada requires a “declaration of value” to accompany the deed. The value declaration determines the transfer tax amount payable to the county.
When you need to change in owners
Add Spouse: An example of timeshare resorts requiring a change of owners is when only one spouse owns the timeshare. The timeshare company needs the other spouse to be on title to make reservations or to access the timeshare.
Divorce: Another example is when one spouse is awarded the timeshare in a divorce. Until the non-owning spouse signs off by deed as owner, both spouses have access and are responsible for the maintenance fees.
Trusts: Probate is avoided only if the trust owns the timeshare. A trust becomes the owner by deed from the Settlor to the Trustee of the trust. The Settlor and Trustee are the same people.
Add or Remover Co-Owner: Owners of a timeshare use a deed to add or remove a co-owner. Co-owers have both access and the responsibility for maintenance fees. Adding a co-owner as a joint tenant avoids probate on the death of the first co-owner.
Gifting: The last change of owners is by gift. Current owners transfer their interest to the new owners by deed. A current owner who no longer uses the timeshare transfers it to someone who will use it. The new owners assume the maintenance fees.
Timeshares are a category of real property. Change in owners is by deed. Deeds are filed in the state where the real property is located. Each state has its own set of rules. Each state has designated an office to record the deed.
Mark W. Bidwell, an attorney in California, authors this page. The office is at 4952 Warner Avenue, Suite 235, Huntington Beach, California 92649. The contact phone number is 714-846-2888. Mr. Bidwell markets through a website, DeedandRecord.com.