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I own 10% of my families estate If I want to can I give my 10% to my mother by just writing it out on a regular paper .

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My families estate is about to be probated. My mother will get 50% and 5 siblings including me get the pther 50%. Can I write a living will (Wish) giving my mother the 10 % and get it notarized without a lawyer?

Attorney Answers 5


I am sorry for your loss.

It sounds like you want to disclaim your inheritance. The lawyer representing the estate should be able to help. But the approach you site would not work.

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I agree.

However, if this is of any value you should have your own attorney. Your mother's attorney won't represent you, and may not be able to properly advise you on the pros and cons (such as tax implications) of your choice.

Do you want accurate, personalized, legal advice that you can rely on? You will have to hire an attorney, not ask on Avvo. I am not your attorney and am not creating an attorney-client relationship by this post. I am therefore giving only general advice. This advice may not apply to you or your situation; may not take account of all possibilities, and may not match the advice I would give to a client. DO NOT rely on this advice or any other advice on Avvo to make your legal decisions. If you want an answer to a legal question you should retain an attorney who is licensed in your state.

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You should definitely hire your own separate lawyer to advise you.

You asked if you could prepare something in writing ("living will" "wish") and "get it notarized without a lawyer".

Please do not try to handle your own legal matters without your own attorney.

An attorney familiar with estate, probate, and taxes can help you get what you need and advise you on what is best for you. In the short term, it may cost you some legal fees, however, without the proper guidance and advice of an attorney now on both carrying out your wishes and tax concerns that you should consider, you may have unforeseen negative consequences in the future -- and then at that future time, it may be too late to fix the problem or may be become more expensive to resolve the problem if it isn't too late to fix it.

Good luck.

Suzanne Alexandra Ascher, Esq., CPA, Tax LL.M.

Legal disclaimer by Suzanne Alexandra Ascher, Esq: My answer is strictly for information and education purposes only and therefore my answer does not form any attorney-client relationship and attorney-client privilege between me and you. These questions and answers on AVVO.COM are no substitute for actual qualified legal advice by an actual licensed attorney in good standing with the bar who can become fully informed of your entire situation above and beyond the limited description of your situation in your question. Further, nothing posted in this public forum of AVVO.COM is deemed confidential or privileged communication. Finally, in accordance with IRS Circular 230 disclosure, federal (United States) tax advice provided in this communication is neither intended nor written to be used, and cannot be used, by to avoid penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or to promote, market, or recommend to anyone a transaction or matter addressed in this communication.

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You are talking about a qualified disclaimer. There are time and substantive requirements that need to be considered. Also, if you disclaim it is as if you predeceased, so your mom will not get your 10%. Your other option is to take the inheritance and then gift it to her, but there are gift tax implications for you such case.

Yes the form should be filled out and then signed witnessed and notarized. The notary just attests to the fact that docoument was freely signed under oath by the actual individual granting the power. The real question here is whether a do it yourself power of attorney will be sufficient for the makers needs.

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Mr. Fromm is licensed to practice law throughout the state of PA with offices in Philadelphia and Montgomery counties. He is authorized to handle IRS matters throughout the United States. His phone number is 215-735-2336 or his email address is , his website is and his blog is

LEGAL DISCLAIMER Mr. Fromm is licensed to practice law throughout the state of PA with offices in Philadelphia and Montgomery Counties. He is authorized to handle IRS matters throughout the United States. His phone number is 215-735-2336 or his email address is , his website is and his blog is <> Mr. Fromm is ethically required to state that the response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/ client relationship. Also, there are no recognized legal specialties under Pennsylvania law. Any references to a trust, estate or tax lawyer refer only to the fact that Mr. Fromm limits his practice to these areas of the law. These responses are only in the form of legal education and are intended to only provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that if known could significantly change the reply or make such reply unsuitable. Mr. Fromm strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in their state in order to ensure proper advice is received. By using this site you understand and agree that there is no attorney client relationship or confidentiality between you and the attorney responding. This site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in the subject area in your jurisdiction, who is familiar with your specific facts and all of the circumstances and with whom you have an attorney client relationship. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The information and materials provided are general in nature, and may not apply to a specific factual or legal circumstance described in the question or omitted from the question. Circular 230 Disclaimer - Any information in this comment may not be used to eliminate or reduce penalties by the IRS or any other governmental agency.

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As some of the other attorneys have noted, depending upon the size of your share, there could be tax implications for you and or the estate.

If it is Massachusetts, there could be estate tax savings if the estate is coming from your late father if he was married to your mother at the time of his death, and the estate is over $1,000,000. Depending upon whether there is a will (you say "probate" - which attorneys normally associate with a will, versus "administration" which is associated with no will or an "intestate" estate.) To obtain the estate tax savings, you would need to execute a specific document called a qualified disclaimer, provided that the will directs that your share pass to your mother if you predecease or disclaim. I.e., you really should speak to an attorney because it can get complicated, and if you do it wrong, you lose the benefits.)

If you want to execute a trust, (is that what you mean by a "living will"? - "living will" actually stands for a document that tells the doctors or your family about what to do if your medical situation is dire, and you are terminal or suffering from dementia, or are on a feeding tube, etcetera...), this again would be something about which you'd want to speak with an attorney.

Long and short of it, if there is any significant amount of money involved, speak with an attorney. If it is a piddling amount, take the cash and give it to your mother (assuming there is nothing else preventing you from doing so...)

Good luck!

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