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Estate planning in Oklahoma: Turning down an inheritance

Those who go through the procedure of fashioning comprehensive estate plans should know that leaving an inheritance to someone doesn't automatically mean the person will accept it. Although it may be graciously appreciated, there are times when estate planning wishes don't exactly pan out the way the writer believed they would. In some cases, there may be valid reasons in Oklahoma why someone may choose not to take a specific inheritance. 

This isn't a new idea. Just because someone has been left some money doesn't mean he or she must accept it; by filing a disclaimer, a person says he or she doesn't want what has been bequeathed. In such a case, the assets go to someone else as though the original person predeceased the person who left the assets by will. This allows the person who gave up the asset that was willed to him or her to bypass any tax associated with accepting the bequeath. For instance, by giving up an asset like real estate that often comes with attached strings, a person could sidestep the costs associated with it -- which may be more than the actual worth of the property.

Disclaimers can also be used by wealthy individuals to pass on what they inherit to their own beneficiaries or those who are in lower tax brackets. Those assets would be held in trust. Disclaimers can also be used by those who are planning their estates to protect their own assets. 

Disclaimers should be discussed with potential beneficiaries. An Oklahoma attorney savvy in estate planning can offer advice as to what kind of documents would be needed to have an all-encompassing estate plan. A lawyer can also work to ensure such documents have the proper legal components and proper wording. 

Source: CNBC, "Seriously, sometimes it pays to skip taking an inheritance", Kelli B. Grant, Accessed on May 4, 2018

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