Should You Refuse an Inheritance?

It may sound absurd to refuse any inheritance, but in reality there are times where it would be discretionary to turn down a sum of money granted to you from a decedent. There are many reasons why a person may want to disclaim a bequest that he or she is set to receive under the terms of a loved one's estate plan. Heirs who hear that they have an inheritance all too often jump at the opportunity to claim it without ever considering if it is a wise idea.

For example, if your beneficiary is in debt, it may be worth it to disclaim the inheritance. This is because inherited assets are not safe from a beneficiary's creditors in most situations. If a beneficiary is in debt, then his or her inheritance may vanish quickly to cover outstanding debts. A beneficiary will want to disclaim the inheritance and avoid confrontation with creditors.

Also, it is best to refuse an inheritance if the will is not accurate to the decedent's wishes. Sometimes individual's will fail to update their will despite making their wishes known. A person who has been named as an heir can disclaim the inheritance if he or she wants to revise the will and make sure that the inheritance goes to the beneficiary that the decedent verbally requested. This is a way to honor an individual after his or her passing and make sure that his or her wishes are honored.

Also, and individual may consider refusing an inheritance in order to avoid taxes that are associated with the inheritance. If an inheritance is a low amount of money, it may not seem work it to go through the lengthy process and pay all taxes on the inheritance. In these situations, a beneficiary may decide it will be easier to disclaim the inheritance. Beneficiaries who do not need the inheritance they are set to receive often choose to disclaim an inheritance in order to pass the assets to the next generation. That way, any of the taxes that are connected with the gift will be taxed in the lower tax bracket of the next generation family member.

If are considering claiming an inheritance but are not certain whether or not it is a wise decision, it is always prudent to consult with an estate planning attorney. Determine whether or not you have the time to go through the probate process to receive your money, and if the amount of money is substantial considering the taxes and the other costs that are associated with receiving the inheritance. Don't hesitate to ask for professional advice if you are concerned that claiming an inheritance may do you more harm than good. Hire a local probate attorney using this directory as a guide!