One of the key aims of estate planning is to pass your assets to the people you choose with the minimum of fuss and the minimum of taxes. With so many different estate planning tools available, it can be hard to understand what they all do and which ones are right for your circumstances. One such tool is called a qualified disclaimer.
What is a qualified disclaimer?
A qualified disclaimer is a legal way of turning down all or part of an inheritance to which you are entitled. By doing so, you allow the assets to pass directly to someone else in your family. It can avoid your family being taxed on the transfer twice.
When might I use a qualified disclaimer?
People often choose to sign a qualified disclaimer when they inherit late in life and consider that they already have enough money to last their lifetime. For example, if your spouse dies when you are in your late 80s, you might decide that you do not need hundreds of thousands of dollars and two houses. You may feel your children could benefit from these assets much more than you.
You can also use a qualified disclaimer to keep family assets out of the hands of creditors. Or you may want to use one to take maximum advantage of the various tax allowances available.
How do I create a qualified disclaimer?
If you feel that a qualified disclaimer could serve you and your family, seek legal help to record your request correctly. There are certain rules to abide by. This estate planning tool can be a useful way of passing family assets to members who need them more than you do, and more than you feel the tax office does.