North Wales, PA asked in Probate for Pennsylvania

Q: Can an individual refuse to accept an inheritance per a relative's will? If so, how is the total distributed?

The person is in Social Sec. Disability and wants the other relative in the will to receive the remainder as she will be there to assist him in the future. He has paranoid schitzophrenic issues.

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1 Lawyer Answer
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Cary, NC
  • Licenced in Pennsylvania

A: Yes under 20 PACSA § 6201. There are certain time limits to disclaim for federal and state tax purposes. See a probate attorney.

However, your post indicates that the person who is making the will is still alive. In that case, you cannot renounce. A will only becomes operative at death and for you to renounce then a person has to have died for you to be able to inherit under a will or otherwise.

A person can make a will up until the time of death. Notwithstanding his paranoia, if he has sufficient mental capacity to make a will (the standard is fairly low - all that must be shown is that the person making the will knows what he owns and who his relatives are). Why doesn't he just make a new will leaving his assets to the other relative?

What will happen,...

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