Can avoid inheriting property when my mother dies?

My parents owned a business. The business property has issues with hazardous waste – it had a leaking gasoline storage tank. My father leased it to another person for 99 years before he died but I don’t have a copy of that lease. My mother now has serious health conditions. When she dies, I want to avoid the potential hazardous waste liability. The property has very little value even without the hazardous waste issue.

Asked on April 3, 2017 under Estate Planning, Ohio


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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Yes you can. If you want to give up your rights to your inheritance, this means that you want to "disclaim" or "renounce" it. What you need to do is to write a letter to the estate's executor, trustee or personal representative. The letter should state clearly that you want to disclaim your inheritance. You'll need to send it within the time period specified by state law. You'll then need to follow any instructions or provide any additional paperwork that ou are asked for. And you should note, once you disclaim property there's no way to change your mind and get it back.

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