Many Fowlerville area residents assume that by the time they create their estate plans or die, they will not need to worry about what happens if one of their beneficiaries’ refuses their inheritance. It is not often you hear about people passing up their share of a deceased relative’s legacy, but it happens all the time. Sometimes it is not beneficial for people to inherit assets and wealth from their relatives and loved ones. 

Whether you are creating or updating your estate plans, it is important for you to understand the different protections it provides. Beneficiaries must accept their inheritances before they are disbursed from a testator’s estate. When they decline them, the state disperses the gifts to the next qualified individuals in line. If there are no named secondary beneficiaries, the state will use the law of intestacy to determine the next recipients the declined gifts should pass down to. There are some situations that may make it more beneficial for them to pass up their gifts. Taxes, divorce and creditors are common reasons people say no to their inheritances. 

According to FindLaw, beneficiaries must use complete a process to disclaim their inheritances. To successfully disclaim an inheritance, the beneficiary must do so in writing within nine months of the qualified event, not influence who it passes to, know their intent is permanent and they must not benefit from disclaiming the gift. 

Before finalizing estate plans until their next review date, people should take time to consider the needs, financial habits and lifestyles of the people they want their wealth and assets to pass to before documenting them.