Lehighton, PA asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Pennsylvania

Q: My dad passed away with no will. I am the sole beneficiary for everything. Can i sign a paper that i dont want it?

He does have a sister also. I don't want the house or car or anything to do with it

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3 Lawyer Answers
Nina Whitehurst
PREMIUM
Nina Whitehurst
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Crossville, TN

A: When the probate case is opened, yes, you can sign a disclaimer. You probably should not do this without consulting an attorney, however. Amazing as this might seem, a disclaimer of inheritance could actually result in negative consequences to YOU, but more facts are needed.

Joshua N. Daly agrees with this answer

W. J. Winterstein Jr.
PREMIUM
W. J. Winterstein Jr.
Answered
  • Probate Lawyer
  • Boyertown, PA
  • Licensed in Pennsylvania

A: Yes, you can renounce an inheritance, and done properly, there should be no adverse tax effects. But as other counsel have recommended, consult a lawyer in your area licensed to practice in PA, preferably one with some tax law experience.

Michael Cherewka , Stephen M. Asbel and Joshua N. Daly agree with this answer

Stephen M. Asbel
PREMIUM
Stephen M. Asbel
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • Licensed in Pennsylvania

A: In Pennsylvania, you can sign a document called a "disclaimer" which indicates you wish to not receive either all or part of what you would inherit. If you sign a disclaimer, for purposes of the estate administration, you would be considered to have died before your father. The question then is whether this is a good idea to do. One possible negative impact would be in relation to the Pennsylvania inheritance tax. The inheritance tax rate when a child inherits is 4.5 percent of the net value of the estate and other assets subject to the tax (after debts, allowed expenses etc). However, if you disclaim the inheritance and it is your father's sister who inherits the estate, the inheritance tax would be 12 percent which is the rate when a sibling inherits.

There may be other factors involved pro and con that impact this decision.

Before deciding whether or not to disclaim this inheritance, you should consult with an experienced estate and trust attorney to review this situation in detail.

Joshua N. Daly agrees with this answer

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