How does someone refuse inheritance?

Sometimes a beneficiary does not want to receive their inheritance, but how does someone go about this and why would someone refuse to accept a share in an estate?

The website, final duties, looked into this and determined that should a beneficiary have had a sour relationship with the deceased when they were alive, they may not feel right in accepting the inheritance from them.  Alternatively, it can be about proving independence or deciding that another beneficiary would benefit from a larger share of the estate.

In order to refuse an inheritance, you must either disclaim it or create a deed of variation in the will.  However, declining inheritance must be made in writing and done within two years of the date of death of the testator.

A disclaimer must apply to the whole gift – you cannot refuse part of the estate and accept another part. If you disclaim your inheritance then this means you can never become the legal owner and you cannot decide who receives your share of the inheritance. Anyone who wishes to disclaim their inheritance should always seek the advice of a legal professional before doing so.

Another way to deal with an unwanted inheritance is to use a deed of variation to redirect the gift. This alters the will as if the change had been made by the testator before they died.  This gives executors and beneficiaries more control of redistribution meaning they can also refuse part of the estate.

People can accept the inheritance and then gift it to someone else although this may be affected by tax. If a gift of property is given by a parent to a child then the gift will not be subjected to inheritance tax on the condition that the giver does not pass away within seven years. Should they die, the value of the asset is added back into the estate for tax calculation.

Finders International have assisted the private sector in a number of complicated cases involving missing beneficiaries to estates, properties and assets.  To see a full list of our services, please visit our website.  Alternatively, you can contact us via telephone +44(0) 20 7490 4935 or email [email protected]

This article was submitted to be published by Finders International as part of their advertising agreement with Today’s Wills & Probate. The views expressed in this article are those of the submitter and not those of Today’s Wills & Probate.

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