How do I decline my inheritance?


I do not want to accept any inheritance that my parents may leave me. Can I just write a letter and have it notarized or is there some type of legal form/letter that I need to fill out?


To decline a gift or inheritance, you need to execute a disclaimer. In order for the disclaimer not to have any effect on you for estate or gift tax it must be a “qualified disclaimer”.  A Qualified Disclaimer must be done within nine months of date of the gift and you must not have exerted any control over the property. By doing the qualified disclaimer, you will have been deemed to have predeceased the gift and the gift goes to the next person in line to inherit under your parents’ estate plans. By only doing a disclaimer, the government will count the inheritance as going to you and then you made the gift to the next person in line.

Legal Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on since each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. A lawyer experienced in the subject area and licensed to practice in the jurisdiction should be consulted for legal advice.

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The estate administration attorneys at the Beliveau Law Group provides legal services for probate, estate administration, and trust administration. The law firm has offices and attorneys in Naples, Florida; Waltham, Massachusetts; and Salem, New Hampshire.