If someone leaves you their property in their Will, do you have to take it?

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If someone leaves you their property in their Will, do you have to take it?

Asked on July 16, 2014 under Estate Planning, North Carolina

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

No, you do not. In a situation such as this, a beneficiary can "renounce" their inheritance. However, to do so, typically the following needs to be done: The disclaimant (i.e. the benenficiary who is renouncing the gift) must put their disclaimer in writing; the disclaimer must be received by the executor of the estate; and, in the interim, the disclaimant does not accept any interest or any benefits of the gift. The result of the refusal will be that the disclaimant's interest will pass to the contingent beneficiary as listed in the Will.

The fact is that each states requirements for renouncing an inheritance differ, so you should contact the applicable probate court or consult with a local attorney for more specific information.


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