When you are in line to receive an inheritance, you probably look forward to improving your financial situation. But what if you do not need the money? Or if you feel someone (a sibling or step-sibling) was unfairly omitted? Can you give away part or all of your inheritance to someone else?
You have to consider if giving away money is legally and financially feasible. From understanding how taxes work with inherited assets to considering implications for both yourself and the (other) recipient, there are some points to consider.
Reasons you Might Want to Decline an Inheritance
There are many reasons why someone may refuse their inheritance, and these should be considered before making any final decisions:
- Financial obligations. If the gift comes with any debts attached, then this could leave you liable for those payments, which could put unnecessary strain on your finances if you cannot afford them. This was a larger issue during the real estate downturn, when people did not want to inherit homes worth less than the underlying debt.
- Tax liability and loss of government aid. If accepting the inheritances would have negative consequences on your tax liability or ability to receive needed government assistance, refusing may seem like your only option. However, disclaiming an inheritance can be deemed a gift in the eyes of Medicaid, so this needs to be done under the supervision of an experienced elder law attorney, if applicable to you.
- Personal choice. If you feel that another person would benefit more than you, or you just don’t want to deal with the hassles of managing the assets, you could refuse part or all of your inheritance.
Is it possible to Give Part of an Inheritance to Someone Else?
Yes, you absolutely can give away part of your inheritance. In Florida, you have the option to only disclaim a part of the inheritance, conditionally or unconditionally. Once this decision is made, it cannot be reversed.
The disclaimer must be in writing and signed and witnessed. And the amount you decide to gift should be expressed as a percentage, fraction, dollar amount, or another interest in the property;.
It is important to consult a probate lawyer experienced in dealing with inheritances, as there can be many unexpected complications. Depending on what type of assets comprise your inheritance, laws governing its distribution could vary significantly. Giving a way apart of an inheritance could easily backfire without considering these steps.
Financial Planning and Tax Considerations in Disclaiming an Inheritance
When deciding to give part of an inheritance to another person, it is important to consider the financial and tax planning consequences that come with it.
First, you should ensure that any transfer is done according to the state’s gift laws and filing requirements. This will mean understanding how those gifts affect taxes and whether or not they need to be reported.
It’s also essential to get a good grasp on the difference between gifting assets versus transferring ownership of them. While gifting generally won’t incur additional costs, transferring ownership may require fees such as legal expenses or capital gains taxes if applicable.
Knowing which option is better suited for your needs can help you make sure you are making the right decisions when parting ways with some or all of your inheritance.
These are just a few things you will have to consider before embarking on this journey. Considering all these factors will allow you to plan ahead and take steps toward a successful transition of ownership should you choose that route.
Getting Assistance with Gifting Part of an Inheritance
An estate planning or elder law firm is a great resource if you are considering gifting part of your inheritance. Estate planning and elder law attorneys understand the laws and regulations governing gift giving and can help you create a plan that works best for your situation. They can help you decide which assets to gift, how to structure the gift, and what documentation is necessary.
An estate planning or elder law attorney can also provide advice on tax implications, the potential impact of gifting on your estate, and the best strategies for protecting your heirs. In addition, they can advise you on strategies for protecting your own interests in the event of a dispute. Lastly, a good elder law attorney is familiar with the different methods of gifting and can help you decide which one is right for your situation.
Protect your Assets. Plan Ahead with Burzynski Elder Law
Giving part of your inheritance to someone else is possible, but it may or may not be the best option for you. Before doing so, make sure that you are aware of the consequences. Also consider potential taxes associated with transferring large sums of money to avoid unexpected fees down the line. Contact our attorneys at 239-434-8557. We can begin a conversation on whether disclaiming an inheritance is right in your situation.