Gifting Real Estate Requires Two Willing Parties
Ask the Real Estate Lawyer: Real Estate Law Q&A
By Ilyce R. Glink and Samuel J. Tamkin
Summary: What if somebody gave you some property but never told you where it was? Can they gift property to you without your consent? Read this article by Ilyce Glink and Samuel Tamkin to find out.
Q. My husband's ex-wife quitclaimed a timeshare property to me. How can I go about finding out where it is and whether she needed my permission to do that?
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A. Letís get this straight. Your current husband had a wife and she decided out of the goodness of her heart to give you title to a timeshare property she owned. And she did all this without telling you about it or even where the property was located.
While there could be some sort of mistake, it appears that your husbandís ex-wife is trying to get rid of something that not only she couldnít get rid of but has costs associated with it.
If you and your husband donít know where the property is, itís going to be nearly impossible to find out what property she gave you without asking her. If you canít ask her, you may never find out until you get a letter from the management company for the timeshare property requesting money.
Of course since you did not buy the property and never acknowledged the transfer its unlikely that the timeshare property could collect anything from you. For the transfer of the timeshare property to occur as a gift you have to have a willing giver and a willing taker. If you were not a willing recipient of the gift, you can decline it.
On the other hand, if you do want the property, you will have to pay all fees and expenses from the date of the transfer along with all future fees and expenses. As for any approvals that may have been required, many timeshare properties can and are sold and resold. Frequently however, the management company handling the timeshare development may need to receive notice of the transfer and in some cases must approve the transfer.
If your husbandís ex-wife signed any documents to transfer the timeshare to you and needed your signature to any document for the transfer, failed to disclose the transfer to the management company for the timeshare property or failed to abide by any other rule relating to the transfer of the timeshare property, the transfer may not be legal. Furthermore, if she forged your signature on a document to make the transfer you can report the fraud to both the timeshare management company and the authorities and begin proceedings to void the transfer to you.
Samuel J. Tamkin is a Chicago-based real estate attorney. Ilyce R. Glinkís latest book is The REAL U Guide to Bank Accounts and Credit Cards. This column is distributed by Real Estate Matters Syndicate. This column may not be resold, reprinted, resyndicated or redistributed without written permission from the publisher. If you have questions for Sam and Ilyce, write:Real Estate Matters Syndicate, PO Box 366, Glencoe, IL 60022 or contact them through Ilyceís website www.thinkglink.com.