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Are There Any Reasons Why Your Beneficiaries Might Refuse An Inheritance?


Every beneficiary possesses the right to refuse an inheritance. Being aware of why they might do so, and speaking with a lawyer, makes it easier to prevent this from occurring.

Are There Any Reasons Why Your Beneficiaries Might Refuse An Inheritance? 

The answer to the question outlined above is “Yes.” A beneficiary has the legal right to refuse an inheritance and there are a variety of reasons as to why they might choose to do so.

Some of the most notable reasons why a beneficiary might refuse an inheritance are as follows:

  • The inheritance would affect the beneficiary’s Medicaid and, in turn, the medical care that they can receive.
  • The beneficiary does not need or want the inheritance and believes that it should be given to someone else.
  • The inheritance comes with debt that the beneficiary either doesn’t want to deal with or cannot deal with.

Every single one of these reasons involves a variety of different elements and conditions. By being aware of these elements and conditions, it’s much easier to work around them.

Receiving An Inheritance Can Affect Medicaid 

Someone who relies on Medicaid must report an inheritance that they receive to the state of Florida’s Medicaid agency. This must occur within ten-days of receiving the inheritance.

Depending on the size of the inheritance, and when it is received/spent, it may surpass the income/assets limitations that Medicaid uses to determine who can make use of their benefits.

Given this fact, if a beneficiary is set to receive an inheritance that will likely prevent them from receiving Medicaid, then it is of the utmost importance that they either refuse the inheritance or, depending on the inheritance, speak with a lawyer who can help them retain the inheritance and still continue to receive Medicaid.

A Beneficiary May Not Need/Want Their Inheritance 

Some beneficiaries may choose to refuse an inheritance on the basis they either don’t need it or, in turn, that they do not want the inheritance.

Regarding the latter item, a beneficiary may not want an inheritance due to personal reasons – it came from a family member they don’t like, for example – or, they may find that accepting the inheritance brings with it a problem that they either cannot deal with or, again, do not want to deal with.

Some Inheritances Come With Debt 

The “problem” mentioned in the last section is debt.

Some inheritances come with debt – a house with an outstanding mortgage – and, if a beneficiary doesn’t want to pay it, or can’t, then they may choose to refuse the inheritance.

Other beneficiaries may choose to take on the debt, so that they can keep the item – a house, for example – within the family.

Speak With A Florida Estate Planning Lawyer Today 

You can, and should, develop an estate plan that clarifies which of your beneficiaries get which items. Even though you develop this estate plan, it doesn’t mean that your chosen beneficiaries will accept what you’ve given them.

Speak with a Florida estate planning lawyer at the Millhorn Elder Law Planning Group today and we will assist you in developing an estate plan that satisfies your estate planning needs and goals.




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