• James D. Lynch

What is a Will Disclaimer?

A will disclaimer is a beneficiary’s legally binding refusal of a gift under a will. The rationale behind the will disclaimer is to recognize that no one can be compelled to receive a gift.

State laws differ in their disclaimer requirements. In general, it must be in a writing signed by the disclaimant describing the interest that is to be disclaimed. A copy of the disclaimer should be provided to the executor of the estate. Once made, a disclaimer is irrevocable. However, disclaimers are not effective if the beneficiary has already accepted the benefits of the property.

Why would someone want to disclaim a gift under a will? Disclaimers are made primarily for tax reasons. Disclaimers may also be made when the burdens of the property outweigh its benefits (such as a loan or mortgage exceeding the property’s value). Disclaimers can also be made to prevent creditors from filing claims against the property (except in the case of valid federal tax liens).

The disclaimant is treated as if he or she had predeceased the decedent and the property is distributed to the next eligible taker. The disclaimant can NOT direct the property to go to someone else of the disclaimant’s choosing.

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Law Office of James D. Lynch, PLLC

3000 Joe Dimaggio Blvd #90, Round Rock, TX 78665


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©2020 by Law Office of James D. Lynch, PLLC. The information contained in this website is for informational purposes and is not to be considered legal advice.  Any correspondence between you and the Law Office of James D. Lynch is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship.  Please do not send confidential information to us until after an attorney-client relationship has been established by an engagement letter signed by the proposed client and our attorney.