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Effect of disclaimer or renunciation of property

A disclaimer is an unqualified refusal to accept a transfer of property. Although other individuals may acquire an interest in the property as a result of the disclaimer it is not per se a transfer. There is no transfer because no property interest was ever acquired by the disclaimant, thus, no interest ever passed from the disclaimant to another. To be valid the disclaimer must:

  • Be in writing,
  • Be received by the donor (or the donor’s estate) within nine months of the date of the transfer creating the interest,
  • The donee must not have accepted the interest or any of its benefits, and
  • As a result of the refusal to accept property, the interest must pass to a person other than the disclaimant without any direction on the part of the disclaimant.