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How to disclaim an inheritance

Most of the time when a Minnesotan receives an inheritance they are happy and grateful for it. But, occasionally a person does not want to accept an inheritance. Is it possible, then, to disclaim an inheritance?

There are circumstances where a person may not want to accept an inheritance. They may disclaim an inheritance for tax purposes or they may want to prevent a creditor from making a claim. They may also want to take advantage of marital deductions and will want to disclaim the inheritance.

Regardless of the circumstances, there are five requirements a person must make to disclaim an inheritance. First, the disclaimer must be unqualified and irrevocable. Then, the disclaimer must be in writing and completed within nine months of the death of the person who left the inheritance. The person who files the disclaimer must not accept any benefit from the property that is disclaimed and, finally, the inheritance that is disclaimed must pass to someone else without the original receiver giving any direction. The inheritance is then passed to whomever is specified in the will.

If a person is facing complicated inheritance issues, they may want to speak with a legal professional who understands the laws relating to heirs and beneficiaries. An attorney has the experience necessary to help their client with their unique situation. They can review what their client needs and can advise them on what needs to be done to achieve their goals. Probate matters can be complicated and having an attorney who specializes in them is important.

Source: FindLaw, "Legal How-To: Disclaiming an Inheritance," Daniel Taylor, Jan. 30, 2015

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