There are several reasons a person may want to renounce property they inherit. Perhaps they have no need for the piano their deceased uncle left them. Perhaps they would rather the property go to someone else beside themselves. Perhaps they are a high income individual and have no need for additional income or property. Whatever the reason may be for renouncing property, the rules regarding properly/legally renouncing such property are very complex. As such, the information provided below is only intended as a very basic outline of some of the rules, under New York law, on renouncing inherited property.
Under New York law, nearly any inherited property can be renounced if the renouncing party does not want the property intended as an inheritance. In considering whether to renounce or not, it’s important to note that a person can renounce all, a portion of or specific items inherited – a renunciation need not be an “all or nothing” decision. In order for the renunciation to be valid under New York law, the following must be done:
A person who renounces an inheritance is treated as if he or she predeceased the decedent, and this treatment of the renouncing party as having predeceased will direct to whom the inheritance is to pass. Note that a party may not accept property and later renounce it – the act of accepting the property makes it so the property is renunciation proof. Also note that once a renunciation is filed, the renunciation is irrevocable – once done, a renunciation cannot be undone.
Christopher C. Haner practices in the areas of Estate
Planning, Estate Administration, Estate Litigation,
Trusts, Elder Law, Medicaid Counseling and Guardianship.
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