What to do if a beneficiary declines their inheritance?

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What to do if a beneficiary declines their inheritance?

His estate, house, vehicles, equipment My brother just passed away and he recently created a Will and left everything (house, vehicles, equipment, etc) to a friend who doesn’t want anything. What issues can we expect?

Asked on November 29, 2010 under Estate Planning, Minnesota

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

No one can be made to accept an inheritance he or she does not want. If the beneficiary disclaims the inheritance, it will pass to anyone named as another, alternate, or back-up beneficiary on the will; if there is no such other  person, it would most likely pass by what's known as "intestate succession," which means it will pass to family members according to their relationship and MN's law on the subject. As a brother, you are one of the people who, depending on what other family is alive, might inherit. You should consult with a trusts and estate's attorney who can evaluate this situation and advise you; one thing you and any other potential heirs would want is to see if the named beneficiary will execute the proper document(s) disclaiming the inheritance, to make sure he or she does not change  his or her mind and try to claim it later.


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