When a loved one passes away, probate proceedings are hopefully not the first thing on their relatives’ minds. Probate is, however, an inevitability, even when a trust is present and effective. But inheritance is not always the blessing that the public conscious imagines it to be. The simple truth is that owning property in California is an expensive endeavor that carries with it tons of monetary responsibility. Faced with the possibility of inheriting something an individual simply cannot afford, there is an option: a disclaimer of interest.
A disclaimer of interest is, essentially, a written statement to the probate court where someone who stands to inherit property or assets states that they do not wish to exercise that inheritance. They “disclaim” any right to receive the interest that they otherwise would.
Specifically, Probate Code section 275 provides: “A beneficiary may disclaim any interest, in whole or in part, by filing a disclaimer of as provided in this part.”