Law & Legal & Attorney Wills & trusts

What if Someone Is Willed Something in an Estate But They Refuse to Accept It?

    Company Debt

    • If in a will you have been left a company or corporation that is in debt, you may need to renounce the business before the debt is transferred to you. While your initial reaction may be to immediately walk away from the business, it is important to get the business properly evaluated by a business professional to find out if the estate still owes you money on the value of the business. If not, then you must formally renounce the company.

    Qualified Disclaimer

    • If the individual who has willed you the estate has not already set up an exemption trust, it is important that you create a qualified disclaimer. The qualified disclaimer will allow you to refuse a portion or all of the estate, passing it on to the next blood relative. Since this document can be composed after the death of the owner of the estate, it is possible to avoid the debts of the individual as well as minimize estate taxes.

    Next in Line

    • If you refuse to accept something that has been willed to you, the item, company or entire estate will then have to pass on to another individual. If there is no exemption trust stating who the estate should be passed on to, the estate will be passed on to the contingent beneficiary, as if you too had passed away. The contingent beneficiary will be decided by state law, usually resulting in the next of kin receiving the inheritance.


    • If you have decided to disclaim an asset that has been willed to you, the Internal Revenue Service has several conditions you must adhere to before you can legally remove your claim to this property, company or item. The disclaimer request must be drawn up in writing. The disclaimer must be filed within nine months of the death of the individual. The disclaimer cannot help you turn a profit. The assets cannot be disclaimed and then indirectly sent to you.

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