Joining a destination club is a long-term family decision for most of the members. We asked the clubs how their rules work for transferring or passing on a membership to a friend or family member.
Just like a country club membership, the membership in a destination club cannot be sold on the open market. Instead the membership is either redeemed with the club or in many cases can be passed on to a family member. The one exception to this is Banyan Tree Private Collection, which can only be sold on the open market and cannot be returned to the club.
Most of the clubs do allow some level of unaccompanied guest use of the clubs homes. For instance members could give a weeks vacation to their parents or siblings. The rules for this vary by club and are covered in this earlier article on family use.
In researching this topic, we found most clubs do allow for membership transfers, sometimes during the lifetime of a member, but mostly as a bequest as part of a will. Several clubs have a policy that a transfer may only happen once, meaning if it is willed from the original member to a loved one, it cannot then be passed on a second time.
Listed below are some of the leading clubs and their transfer policies.Abercrombie & Kent Residence Club
Under this new clubs membership rules, membership can be included in estate plans for transfer to the next generation. There is no payment to the club of any additional costs or fees related to such a transfer.Botiga
Botiga has two methods of transferring a membership to another person, permanent and temporary. In both instances, there are no additional fees involved.
Permanent transfer: A member may by their will (or application of intestacy rules) transfer their membership to another person if the transferee has completed the then current membership agreement and been accepted for membership by the club.
Temporary transfer: On completion of a temporary transfer form and its acceptance by the club, a member may on one occasion temporarily transfer his or her full membership rights to an individual for a period of not less than one full dues-paying year and not more than two full dues-paying years. The original member remains responsible for the conduct of the Temporary member and their guests, plus remain responsible for the payment of annual dues.Distinctive Holiday Homes
A Distinctive Holiday Homes membership can be willed to another person.
The club does have a way to transfer one membership to another during the current members lifetime. If a member would like to resign and has someone to take their place, they first need to introduce the new potential member to DHH. The new member must accept the club guidelines and policies. DHH will then make a membership transfer. The new member must pay a transfer fee of $5,000 (subject to change) as well as the original amount of the value of the membership. The original member will then be refunded 80% of their original membership fee.Equity Estates
There are redemption and sales rights for all owner members after 24 months of ownership. Members may transfer their ownership for a transfer fee of up to 7.5%, depending on when the membership interest transfers. There are no fees when the fund liquidates and distributes any profits anticipated in 2021.
The membership becomes part of the estate upon the death of a member, and can be transferred to anyone just like any other asset in the estate.Exclusive Resorts
Exclusive Resorts is the only club in this list that does not allow memberships to be transferred from one individual to another, except between spouses/partners. Should a member pass away, his or her spouse/partner can retain the membership if they so choose. In other cases, the membership is resigned and subject to the clubs normal resignation rules and deposit returns.
Like other clubs, Exclusive does allow members to share memberships with their families and friends. In Exclusives case there is an incremental fee for this, whereas some of the clubs include this as part of their base membership.The Hideaways Club
The Hideaways Club allows members to pass on a membership to a family member without incurring a fee or cost directly from the club. As with other clubs, the only cost would be any legal or tax fees for the transaction, depending upon the vehicle the member used to purchase their membership. If members would like to pass their membership onto a friend, the recipient may be liable to pay the appreciation cost in the value of the portfolio since the previous member brought in.High Country Club
At any time a member may transfer their membership to a spouse, domestic partner or child above the age of 25. However, the transferee of members membership shall not have the right to further transfer the membership. In the event of a divorce, legal separation or termination of a domestic partnership, either party to the arrangement can continue as the member. The club does charge a transfer or continuation fee of $500.LUSSO Collection
A Member may make an in-lifetime transfer of their membership once every five years to a qualifying family member (parents, children, siblings over the age of 25). Furthermore, on death, a membership is transferable to a single family member. There are no transfer charges.M Private Residences
An M Private Residences membership is fully transferable within the members family at no charge, as part of a will or bequest. In addition, the rights associated with share ownership may be assigned to a family member or friend on an annual basis.Quintess
A membership can automatically transfer to a spouse upon the death of a member. If there is not a spouse or after the death of the spouse, the membership can be transferred in whole to one child. That child can of course have siblings as designees but the membership cannot be split up among heirs. If there is no child or spouse, or after the death of the child it was transferred to, then the membership must be redeemed by the estate. There is no cost or transfer fee.Solstice
Solstice views its memberships as a legacy for member's children if they wish. The membership can be transferred to the children without a transfer fee, as long as the children are over the age of 25. This can be done while the member is still alive, or as part of a will upon their passing away. It cannot be transferred to a friend.Ultimate Escapes
An Ultimate membership may pass down to a single generation and the club charges a transfer fee of 1% for each year of membership on such a transfer. After this one transfer memberships are subject to normal resignation policies.
Membership in a destination club is a long-term decision. We recommend that prospective members have at least a 10 year time horizon when they are looking to join a club. Its a potential alternative to buying a family vacation home, and based on the rules above can be viewed as a potential family legacy in many clubs.