In a previous post we discussed how a recipient under a will has the ability to disclaim or renounce their share of an estate’s assets, which is typically done to keep the estate’s assets within the family while simultaneously out of the reach of creditors. So what is required to have a valid disclaimer? There are six requirements:

1. The disclaimer must be in writing;

2. The written disclaimer must describe the property or interest being disclaimed;

3. The disclaimer must be signed by the disclaiming person;

4. The disclaimer must “declare the disclaimer” (A.R.S. 14-10005) with words such as “I hereby disclaim”;

5. The disclaimer must be delivered to the court subject to the procedural limitations of your jurisdiction;

6. Lastly, the disclaimer must be made before the disclaiming person has accepted any benefit from the property (in other words, the disclaimer cannot be filed after the person has received the property [say it’s a car], used it for a few months, and then decides he does not want it anymore).

Most of these requirements are very procedural, but if you or a relative would benefit from disclaiming a share of a probate estate, it would be critical to know these basic requirements.


Image by: Sara Bjork