How to Avoid Probate of California Timeshares Tip Sheet by Deed and Record

Affidavit re Real Property of Small Value for deceased owner of a California timeshare

Probate shortcut to transfer a deceased owner’s timeshare in California is an Affidavit

Tip Sheet by Deed and Record on how to transfer a decedent’s ownership of a timeshare located in California. A timeshare owned by someone who has died can be transferred without going to probate court. The probate court can be avoided with an “Affidavit re Real Property of Small Value” (the “Affidavit”).

To use the Affidavit the value of the timeshare must be less than $50,000. The $50,000 limit is not a problem for timeshares in California. But if the person who died owned other real property that exceeds $50,000 the Affidavit will not work and a filing in probate court will be required.

The Affidavit is a declaration signed by a person who is entitled to ownership of the timeshare. There are three types of signers, an heir by will, a successor trustee to a trust and an intestate heir. An “intestate heir” is someone who inherits when there is no will or trust.

Without a will or trust, persons who are to inherit the timeshare are determined by California probate laws of intestacy. The law has priorities for inheritance. For example, first to inherit is the spouse, then if no surviving spouse, surviving children and grandchildren of a deceased child are next to inherit. Wills and trusts avoid the intestate laws.

Trusts are also created to avoid probate. But often timeshares are not transferred into the trust and probate is needed. But if all other real property in California is owned by the trust, the Affidavit is available to the successor trustee for timeshare transfers. The successor trustee is the signer of the…

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