Four years ago today, I branched out on my own and started The Law Office of Paige Arden Stanley, LLC. Some days have been crazier than others, but it’s been absolutely wonderful working with and helping my clients. Thank you, each and every one of you, for supporting me in my business and being the best colleagues and clients an attorney could hope for!
In addition to celebrating my anniversary, I'm also celebrating the launch of a brand new website. I'd love to hear what you think of the updated information and the new look. You may visit the new site at
Renunciation of Inheritance
You loved your dear aunt Velma. She was sweet and always doted on you, and man did she love macramé. For some strange reason, she also must have assumed you loved it too because you’ve now inherited her extensive collection of 377 vintage macramé owls in her will. While you appreciate the thoughtfulness of Velma leaving you her most prized possessions, they’re not necessarily your cup of tea. But what can you do?
Renunciation, also known as a disclaimer of interest, is the legal term for declining the inheritance of property left to you in a will or trust. Many people don’t realize that they are not legally obligated to accept inherited money or property, thinking that if they inherit a house with a large mortgage, property with insane taxes or hideous collections of macramé owls, they’ve just got to deal with it. There are actually plenty of reasons to disclaim an inheritance. On the website AllTop, there's a post that lists out 10 common reasons
why people disclaim property. Please note that the date of this post is 2011, so some of the numbers referenced are different starting in 2013. Just keep in mind these are just examples and that rules and regulations on these matters vary from state to state and change over time, but it should give you a good idea of why some people turn down inherited property.
So if you’re in this awkward position or think you might be, what do you need to do? It’s not as simple as just saying “Nah, I’m not interested.” There are several steps that unwilling beneficiaries must take to properly disclaim an inheritance. First, the recipients must state in writing they are not interested and detail the property to be disclaimed. They must then deliver this to either the attorney in charge of distributing the estate, the designated executor of the will or, if part of a trust, the trustee. All of this must be done within nine months of death. Once you have disclaimed the property, it is irrevocable – no changing your mind. And no, you can’t decide who will inherit the property instead of you.
If you find yourself in this situation, it’s important to make sure you follow renunciation steps to the letter. Should you have questions and need guidance in these matters, contact me
today. I’ll happily help you avoid those macramé owls!