Death of DVC Owner Family Member

SaveDisney

Earning My Ears
Joined
Nov 28, 2004
I have searched through the DisBoard Forums and all over the Internet to try and find an answer to this question but surprisingly there is very little information.

My Father-in-Law died at the beginning of the year and I am trying to help my Mother-in-Law deal with most of the DVC and other paperwork. We live in the UK and thanks to DisBoards I have managed to find out that a simple form together with death certificate can be signed by a notary in the UK - this will suffice for Disney to amend their DVC records.

However, the letter sent from Disney also states,

We do not record this Affidavit or the death certificate in the county records where the above referenced Ownership Interest is located. You would need to make your own arrangements or contact an attorney for that type of service. This Affidavit is for our internal use only.

I have checked through the documents available to download at the Orange County Clerks Office - www.myorangeclerk.com - but just can't figure it out. It may well be too difficult for me to sort out without an Attorney but over the past few weeks I have found that most of the official paperwork that I have had to file has been very simple (once I managed to find out the process). I'm still hopeful this paperwork will be a simple process as well based on a few comments I have found from people who have gone through the same experience. What I haven't managed to find is an explanation of what to do.

Can anybody point me in the right direction or do people think this is a difficult process that would definitely require a legal representative in Florida. We all fly out to stay in Disney on 11th April. It's supposed to be a celebration of the Father-in-Laws life so I'm trying to keep the official paperwork side to a minimum for my Mother-in-Law.

Thanks in advance for any comments or help.

Craig
 

SianBeau

Earning My Ears
Joined
Aug 22, 2014
Hi Craig,
Sorry to hear about your loss.

I have not experienced this, but have you rang and spoken with member services direct? They have always been extremely helpful in helping us with things we need sorting.

Sian
 

SaveDisney

Earning My Ears
Joined
Nov 28, 2004
Thanks Sian.

I had some information from Member Services that turned out to be incorrect and sent me along the wrong path. Everything is starting to come. Even together and make sense now.

As soon as I have everything complete I will add a reply to here with what I did and how it went so anybody searching in the future can search and hopefully find the post.

Craig
 

drusba

I went to Iowa once, and it was closed.
Joined
Aug 19, 1999
It is usually advisable to retain an attorney in these situations but to get you started:

Of immediate importance is what the deed says. That is something you can download from the Orange County Comptroller's site in its Search Official Records section. You mention getting records or forms from the Orange County Clerk's site, but that office would not have the applicable deed, so you need to get to the correct site. Does the deed show both your father and mother in-law as owners and does it have either of the following next to their names: (a) as "Husband and Wife," or (b) as "Joint Tenants with Right of Survivorship." In Florida, it would be "Husband and Wife," if they were married when the property was purchased unless they specifically chose to have a different form of ownership.Husband and Wife means it is a tenancy in the entirety, a form of Joint Tenancy that provides the highest possible protection against creditors of only one of the spouses. If it says husband and wife (or joint tenant with right of survivorship), that means upon your father-in-law's death, your mother-in-law automatically became the sole owner of the property and the property need not go through a probate court proceeding in Orange County, Florida at this time. If it does not have either of those phrases, then you definitely need to get an attorney because a probate proceeding is going to be necessary.

The next question to answer is whether there is any outstanding loan related to the DVC timeshare. In other words, did they borrow money to purchase it and is there anything still owed. If there is a loan, you need to get in touch with the lending company to determine next steps related to the loan, e.g., do the loan documents require all amounts to be paid off upon death of either owner? In other words, someone has to take steps immediately to get the death information to the lending institution and determine what is to be done about paying the loan.

The husband and wife or joint tenancy designation in the deed saves you from a probate proceeding, but alone does not save your mother-in-law or father-in-law's estate from having to pay estate taxes to Florida or the US relating to the timeshare. That is a two question inquiry. First, did your father-in-law, with or without your mother-in-law's joint ownership, have assests in the US, including the timeshare, any stocks, any bank accounts, or any real estate, whose total market value is greater than $60,000. If the timeshare is the only US property then you need to estimate its current market value -- you can get a decent questimate by just looking at resales and how much they are selling for. If it is definitely below $60,000, you are done as there will be no estate taxes. If it is $60,000 or more, you need to answer the second question to which I am assuming the likely answer is no, but I cannot say for sure: is the total value your father-in-laws estate (money, stocks, property, etc.) from everywhere in the world, more than $5,340,000? If no, then because of tax exemptions, there will be no estate taxes in the US or Florida even if the timeshare value is more than $60,000. If yes, consider hiring a lawyer, including because affording one is not an issue.

If the deed language was husband and wife (or joint tenancy), there is no outstanding loan, and there is no issue of an estate tax, then your mother-in-law likely does not have to do anything in the US right now other than to get Disney to change its records to show your mother-in-law as the owner it will be dealing with from now on, including for payment of dues. I cannot say what you may have to do in the UK but I assume you are taking any needed step there since the death of your father-in-law.. It is not necessary to have the Orange County records changed to show your mother-in-law as the sole owner until she decides to sell or otherwise transfer the property to someone else, at which time steps will need to be taken to have the deed changed to show her as the sole owner. You may want to make the needed change now, which would require the issuance of a new deed. That requires certian filings with proof via the death certificate and some fees. I personally would likely get an attorney to do that but others have mentioned that can be done without a lawyer. I believe other members of this site, such as Dean, are familiar with that process if you want to proceed without a lawyer.
 

Kevin Stringer

Chat Host
Joined
Mar 3, 2000
Wow, thanks for the comprehensive and interesting reply to the OP's question.
Unfortunately, it's an issue that many will have to come to terms with as members get older and this will help enormously.
 


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