Dear Petunia: Can I refuse to inherit my mother’s property dump?


Dear Petunia,

My brothers and sisters and I passed on our family to her according to her will when my mother passed away. My brothers and sisters currently live in an apartment on the property. They owed rent for several years and did not maintain the property.

Over the years, I have made it clear that I do not want to be part of a shared property because of everything I have witnessed over the years and the personal and financial risks that come with it. Unfortunately, my mother did not delete my name. She now has a cognitive impairment and cannot do so.

Is there a way to remove my name from the assets and/or limit the potential financial and personal liabilities that come with it?

-D.

Dear D.,

You cannot delete your name from your mother’s will, but you can give up your estate when your mother dies. In doing so, you simply refuse to accept your share in the property she bequeathed to you.

It is not uncommon to give up inheritance rights. People choose to do this for many reasons: they are deep in debt, they don’t want creditors to confiscate their assets, or they worry that assets will make it more difficult for them to qualify for college grants, Medicaid or other benefits. The wealthy sometimes abandon their estates to reduce the size of their taxable assets.

Not wanting to own a property that is poorly maintained and may have family problems is a good reason. In fact, you do not need to provide any reason for rejection.


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You really have nothing to do now, because your mother is still alive and cannot amend her will. You already know the fact that you don’t want this property, but if you decide to abandon it, you may want to convey this plan to your brothers and sisters. In this way, at least they will know in advance that they will pay taxes and long-term deferred maintenance on their own. They can also plan accordingly, in case inheriting a larger share than expected would jeopardize any aid they receive.

When your mother dies, you must give up the property in writing within nine months. You need to provide a copy of the disclaimer to your mother’s estate executor and the IRS, and submit a copy in the court of the county where your mother lived when she died.

Once you give up the property, you will not be able to guide what will happen to your share. It is important to note that the waiver of inheritance rights is irrevocable, which means that you cannot change your mind in the future. This doesn’t sound like a problem, because you obviously know that this is the right decision.

As the rules can become complicated, I suggest that you consult an estate planning lawyer when your mother dies. You want to make sure that everything is handled properly so that you can be confident that you are not responsible for your property.

Inheritance may be the source of tension in the main family. Fortunately, it sounds like you can avoid any drama by staying away from your shares.

Robin Hartill is Penny Hoarder’s certified financial planner and senior author.Send your tough money questions to [email protected] Or chat with her Penny Hoarders Community.

This was originally published on Penny hoarders, By sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, free gifts, etc., to help millions of readers around the world make money and save money. The Inc. 5000 listed The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the United States in 2017.



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