Can I refuse my inheritance?

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Can I refuse my inheritance?

I’m divorce. Foolishly agree in my divorce decree, to give half of my
inheritance to my Ex and two children. She is a Corporate lawyer and
does need the money. I’m 62 force to take Social Security and living
below the poverty level. Can I also have a sibling in the Will. Can I
refuse or have the executor take me out the Will, without her suing
the estate?

Asked on December 2, 2016 under Estate Planning, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If you agreed in the decree to give her half the inheritance, refusing your inheritance ("disclaiming" it) would be to act intentionally to violate and frustrate the decree and you could face contempt of court or be sued by your ex. It's one thing if the estate is all spent or used up and so nothing comes to you--that's not your fault, and you are not accountable for it. But *you* cannot take steps or actions to frustrate or effectively refute what you were ordered by the court or voluntarily agreed to do.


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