To change the name of a beneficiary does it have to go through probate court?

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To change the name of a beneficiary does it have to go through probate court?

My nephew was left my brothers house in the Will. He has been incarcerated in the state pen and will soon be released. We are scared that the state will take his house for retribution and were wondering if he could sign the house over to his mother to protect it. Can we do this?

Asked on December 13, 2011 under Estate Planning, Georgia

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Your nephew can "disclaim" his inheritance in your brother's Will. If he wishes to do so, then a written disclaimer signed by him will need to be filed in the probate court. However, it that is done, the Will of your brother will then dictate who is to receive the home that is disclaimed.

Another issue is that the state where your nephew is incarcerated may claim that the disclaimer is fraudulent and seek title to the home assuming that there is an order of restitution. I recommend that you and other family members consult with a Wills and trust attorney further over the situation that you have written about. You will also have to review the criminal file of your nephew to see if there is a restitution order against him for the crime he was jailed for.


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