When the average person thinks of an inheritance, they think of it as winning the lottery. But when you are actually faced with accepting an inheritance, you may find that it makes more sense to decline the inheritance or transfer it to someone else. To decline an inheritance, you need to file a disclaimer after the will is read. But why would people file a disclaimer to refuse an inheritance?

Some of the reasons that people refuse an inheritance are based on their current situation, while other reasons deal with long-term implications. If you are ever named as a beneficiary in a will, it does help to know that you have options if you are handed an inheritance that you don't want.

Not Interested In Real Estate

In some cases, people will file a disclaimer on an inheritance because that inheritance consists of real estate. While it is easy enough to sell a house as long as the house is in good condition, selling an empty lot is not nearly as simple. If you inherit an empty lot, you also inherit the maintenance costs and the tax bills that are associated with the property.

It would seem that selling the plot of land would be the simple solution, but plots don't sell as readily as developed property. You could be stuck with your plot of land for years, and that will cost you a lot of money. If you are given a plot of land as an inheritance, then you should immediately do research on that land to see if you want to keep it or file a disclaimer.

Estate Tax Implications

An inheritance brings tax implications of its own, but some people look beyond their short-term problems and consider the long-term picture of taking on a large inheritance. Some people file a disclaimer on an inheritance because they are afraid that the inheritance will trigger significant estate taxes on their own estate when they pass away.

It is important to remember that the estate tax threshold is several million dollars and your new inheritance would need to be substantial to cause your own heirs any financial issues. Before you disclaim your inheritance, you should discuss your options with your own attorney to see if your inheritance could cause headaches for your beneficiaries.

Transferring Property

You can use a disclaimer to transfer inherited property without having to go through the process of taking ownership of the property and then transferring it to someone else. For example, if your grandfather leaves you his home, you may not want the home because you are happy with the home you have. But you do know that your brother is in desperate need of a new home, and you would rather give the family home to your brother than sell it to a stranger. A disclaimer allows you to transfer ownership of the home to your brother in a smooth and simple way.

When people see movies and television shows that portray someone getting an inheritance, the general emotion conveyed is one of joy. But in the real world, an inheritance does not always make the beneficiary happy. In some cases, beneficiaries want to refuse their inheritance and they can do that by filing a disclaimer to waive their right to whatever has been left in their name.

A will is something that many people do not want to think about, but it is one of the most important things you can do for your family. A good will is part of good estate planning, but a will can also stand on its own to protect your interests.

Anyone who has a family and/or property of some kind needs to have a will. If you do not have a will, then the state you live in may decide to become the executor of your estate. If you want your final wishes to be acted upon, then you need to let the world know what those wishes are by creating a legal will with your attorney.

Make Arrangements For Your Children And Any Special Needs Family Members

Single parents have a tremendous responsibility, and that does not stop when they have passed on. In your will, you can make it clear who you want to have custody of your children and how you want your children cared for. If you are currently caring for a special needs or ailing family member, then your will can outline how you want that care to continue after you are gone.

Speed Up Probate

When someone passes away, their estate goes through the probate process. If there is no will, then the state will start making decisions that the family may or may not agree with. When there is a will, the probate process is sped up considerably and your final wishes will be administered by the official executor of your estate.

Point Your Money In The Right Direction

One of the direct results of outlining your final wishes is to make sure that your property is distributed the way you want it to be. If you allow the courts to distribute your estate, it could wind up in the hands of people you would never have wanted to benefit from your life's work. But when you outline your preferences in a will, you can make sure that your estate goes only to those who you prefer.

Outline Your Charitable Donations

In your will, you can determine how much of your money goes to charity and how much goes to your family. If it is a considerable sum of money, then giving part away to charity can help to lower the estate tax that your family would have to pay on your inheritance. If you allow your estate to go through probate without a will, then none of your charitable interests will benefit from your generosity.

Prepare For The Future

No one can predict the future, which is exactly why you need to take care of your will today. No one is guaranteed to see the sun rise the next morning, and you need to be sure that you have taken proper care of your family if something does happen to you.

If you do not have a will, then now is the time to go get one done by your attorney. If you do have a will, then it is always good to revisit your will once a year to make sure that it reflects your current situation, and applies to all of your current interests.

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