Occasionally a client is confronted with the choice whether to disclaim all or part of an inheritance from an estate or trust. Often this is a useful tool in the client’s own estate planning. A qualified disclaimer is a decision by a beneficiary about to receive an inheritance or gift that he or she does not wish to receive it. The disclaimer must be made in writing, within nine months of decedent’s date of death and before the disclaimant has received any benefit from the asset to be disclaimed. If a decision is made to disclaim, the asset passes to an alternate beneficiary who would have received it if the disclaimant had failed to survive the decedent. For most purposes a disclaimant is treated as never having owned the assets disclaimed. It is essential to begin a discussion regarding the advisability of making a disclaimer as soon as possible, so that all consequences can be considered and all formalities met. If you have questions, please contact a probate lawyer from Lyons | Sullivan in Bellevue, WA.