Creating a comprehensive estate plan is an important part of planning for your future and the future needs of your loved ones. In addition to establishing a comprehensive estate plan, it is important to discuss this inheritance plan with your beneficiaries so that he or she may prepare for their designated role.
Under certain circumstances, a designated beneficiary may refuse to accept his or her inheritance. There are a number of reasons that a designated beneficiary may not wish to accept their inheritance. These reasons may be personal, financial, practical, or even emotional. When a beneficiary does not want to accept an inheritance, he or she will turn it down by disclaiming it.
If you are the beneficiary of an estate and considering refusing to accept an inheritance you are required to complete the following:
- Make a disclaimer in a signed writing;
- Provide the signed written disclaimer to the estate administrator that is responsible for overseeing all inheritances;
- Fail to accept any and all benefits from the estate inheritance; and
- The signed written disclaimer must be irrevocable.
The most common reason that individuals may choose to disclaim their inheritance is for estate purposes or other financial reasons. By disclaiming an inheritance, it may pass from the intended beneficiary to the next beneficiary that would inherit the decedent’s assets. By doing this, it may protect a person with financial troubles from having his or her inheritance taken by creditors.
Another way that an estate may benefit by a beneficiary disclaiming an inheritance is through a charitable contribution. For example, when a beneficiary has a life estate with the remainder interest passing to a charitable organization, disclaiming the life estate will entitle the estate to a charitable deduction. While there are a myriad of reasons for disclaiming an inheritance, it is important to speak with an experienced estate-planning lawyer to evaluate your situation so that he or she may provide the most beneficial options for the best outcome.
While disclaiming an inheritance is a viable estate-planning tool, it may not be right for your situation. For this reason, contact an experienced estate-planning attorney to determine if this is an appropriate course of action. The experienced elder law and estate planning attorneys at the Law Offices of Hunziker, Jones, & Sweeney help seniors and their families handle all aspects of estate planning. Our New Jersey estate planning lawyers can answer your questions about planning for your future, and assist you along the way. For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact our New Jersey estate planning lawyers at (973) 256-0456.