I live in Arizona. My mother lives in CT. My sister is the executor of my mother's estate (or will become the executor). For reasons that are beyond the scope of this message, I need to disclaim any possible inheritance. How do I do this?
Elder Law Attorney
File a written disclaimer with the probate court, with a copy to the executor... If mother is still alive and you are trying to escape creditors/ex-spouse, etc, simply disclaiming the inheritance won't work... you need to have mother disinherit you, or otherwise protect the inheritance to you from your creditors... It can be done, but you need to speak with an estate planning attorney who is familiar with asset protection...
You need to file a "qualified" disclaimer that meets not only CT law but federal law. This will avoid any estate or gift tax implications for you. Do not attempt to do this yourself as there are very detailed rules at the federal level and there may be special rules under CT law. You need to retain a CT estates lawyer to help you through the process and to prevent you from inadvertently disqualifying the disclaimer.
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Estate Planning Attorney
Both of the previous answers are accurate. I would add one or two points. You can not disclaim an asset after you have excersised any form of "dominion or control" over the asset. This would include accepting ownership, exercising options about its disposition (changing investment attributes, going to cash, etc.) or any other act of acceptance. Neither can a person disclaiming control who then gets the asset. Generally, the treats a discaimer as if the person disclaimimg died 1st. Your mother's will, or the laws of intestacy, and the beneficiary designation on IRAs, savings binds, etc., will control who receives in your place. You should understand what the result is before you disclaim, it may not be what you expect. You should also thoroughly understand whether your goals will be achieved by disclaiming.
You should seek advice before taking this action.
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