Maryland Disclaimer of Property Interest Law


Wills and Estates – Disclaimer of Property Interest – Maryland

(a) A person who is an heir, next of kin, devisee, legatee, person succeeding to a disclaimed interest, beneficiary under a testamentary instrument, or appointee under a power of appointment exercised by a testamentary instrument, may disclaim in whole or in part the right of succession to any property or interest in any property, including a future interest, by filing a disclaimer under this subtitle.

(b) A person who is a grantee, donee, joint tenant, tenant by the entireties, person succeeding to a disclaimed interest, beneficiary under a nontestamentary instrument or contract, or appointee under a power of appointment exercised by a nontestamentary instrument, may disclaim in whole or in part the right of transfer to the person of any property or interest in any property, including a future interest, by delivering or filing a disclaimer under this subtitle. A joint tenant or tenant by the entireties may disclaim the entire interest in any property that is the subject of a joint tenancy or tenancy by the entireties if the disclaimant did not join in creating the joint tenancy or tenancy by the entireties and if the disclaimant has not accepted a benefit under the joint tenancy or tenancy by the entireties. A surviving joint tenant may disclaim as a separate interest any property or interest in any property devolving to the disclaimant by right of survivorship. A surviving tenant by the entireties may disclaim as a separate interest any property or interest in any property devolving to the disclaimant by right of survivorship.

(c) Thirty days after delivering or mailing written notice to all interested persons, the attorney-in-fact of a person, or the personal representative of a deceased person, or the guardian of the property of a minor or disabled person, may disclaim on behalf of that person, in whole or in part, the right of succession or transfer to that person of any property or interest in any property. The circuit court, without appointing a guardian, may authorize or direct a disclaimer on behalf of a minor or disabled person pursuant to § 13-204 of this article. In the case of a deceased person, interested persons are those defined in § 1-101 of this article. In all other cases, interested persons are those defined in § 13-101 of this article.

(d) For purposes of this subtitle, a power with respect to property, or any possible future right to take as an appointee of an unexercised power of appointment, or any right to take as a beneficiary of a discretionary power to distribute income or principal, shall be treated as an interest in property.

Article 9, § 9-201.

(a) If the property or interest has devolved to the disclaimant under a testamentary instrument or by the laws of intestacy, the disclaimer shall be filed, if of a present interest, or an entire interest in a joint tenancy or tenancy by the entireties, not later than nine months after the death of the deceased owner or deceased donee of a power of appointment and, if of a future interest, not later than nine months after the event determining that the taker of the property or interest is finally ascertained and that his right to possess or enjoy his interest is indefeasibly vested. Any disclaimer as a separate interest of an interest which otherwise would devolve by right of survivorship made by a joint tenant or tenant by the entireties shall be filed not later than nine months after the death of the deceased joint tenant or deceased tenant by the entireties which determines the disclaimant’s right to possess or enjoy that separate interest. The disclaimer shall be filed with the register of the county in which proceedings have been commenced for the administration of the estate of the deceased owner or deceased donee of the power or, if they have not been commenced, in which they could be commenced. A copy of the disclaimer shall be delivered in person or mailed by registered or certified mail to any personal representative or other fiduciary of the deceased owner or deceased donee of the power and to the trustee or other person who has legal title to the property or interest disclaimed.

(b) If the property or interest has devolved to the disclaimant under a nontestamentary instrument or contract, the disclaimer shall be delivered or filed, if of a present interest, or an entire interest in a joint tenancy or tenancy by the entireties, not later than nine months after the effective date of the nontestamentary instrument or contract and, if of a future interest, not later than nine months after the event determining that the taker of the property or interest is finally ascertained and that the right of the taker of the property or interest to possess or enjoy the interest is indefeasibly vested. The effective date of a revocable instrument or contract is the date on which the maker no longer has power to revoke it or to transfer to the maker of the revocable instrument or contract or another the entire legal and equitable ownership of the interest. Any disclaimer as a separate interest of an interest devolving by right of survivorship made by a surviving joint tenant or surviving tenant by the entireties shall be delivered or filed not later than nine months after the death of the deceased joint tenant or deceased tenant by the entireties which determines the disclaimant’s right to possess or enjoy the separate interest. The disclaimer or a copy of it shall be delivered in person or mailed by registered or certified mail to the trustee or other person who has legal title to the property or interest disclaimed, or to the transferor of the property or interest disclaimed or the legal representative of the transferor of the property or interest.

(c) If real property or an interest in real property is disclaimed, a copy of the disclaimer shall be recorded among the land records of the county in which the real property is located.

Article 9, § 9-202.

The disclaimer shall be in writing and shall (1) describe the property or interest disclaimed, (2) declare the disclaimer and its extent, and (3) be signed by the disclaimant.

Article 9, § 9-203.

(a) If property or an interest in it devolved to a disclaimant under a testamentary instrument, under a power of appointment exercised by a testamentary instrument, or under the laws of intestacy, unless the deceased owner or deceased donee of a power of appointment has provided otherwise:

(1) Where devolution to the disclaimant is expressly conditioned on the disclaimant’s survival of the deceased owner or the deceased donee of the power of appointment, the property or interest disclaimed devolves as if the disclaimant had died immediately before the deceased owner or the deceased donee of the power. Except where devolution to the disclaimant is conditioned expressly on the disclaimant’s survival of the deceased owner or the deceased donee of the power of appointment, the property or interest disclaimed devolves directly to those persons who would have taken the property or interest if the disclaimant had died, intestate, domiciled in the State of Maryland, owning the property or interest, immediately before the deceased owner or the deceased donee of the power.
(2) A future interest that takes effect in possession or enjoyment at or after the termination of the estate or interest disclaimed takes effect as if the disclaimant had died immediately before the deceased owner or the deceased donee of the power.

(b) If property or an interest in it devolved to a disclaimant under a nontestamentary instrument or contract, or under a power of appointment exercised by a nontestamentary instrument, unless the instrument or contract has provided otherwise:

(1) Where devolution to the disclaimant is expressly conditioned on the disclaimant’s survival to the effective date of the instrument or contract, the property or interest disclaimed devolves as if the disclaimant had died immediately before the effective date of the instrument or contract. Except where devolution to the disclaimant is conditioned expressly on the disclaimant’s survival to the effective date of the instrument or contract, the property or interest disclaimed devolves directly to those persons who would have taken the property or interest if the disclaimant had died, intestate, domiciled in the State of Maryland, owning the property or interest, immediately before the effective date of the instrument or contract.
(2) A future interest that takes effect in possession or enjoyment at or after the termination of the estate or interest disclaimed takes effect as if the disclaimant had died immediately before the effective date of the instrument or contract.

(c) If the property or interest disclaimed is or, immediately prior to the death of a joint tenant or tenant by the entireties, was subject to a joint tenancy or tenancy by the entireties, the property or interest disclaimed devolves as if the disclaimant had predeceased the other joint tenant or tenant by the entireties. If the property or interest disclaimed is subject to a joint tenancy involving multiple surviving joint tenants and if all surviving joint tenants disclaim, the property or interest disclaimed devolves as if all the disclaimants had predeceased the deceased joint tenant.

(d) A disclaimer of a power with respect to property extinguishes the power as to the disclaimant.

(e) A disclaimer relates back for all purposes to the date of death of the deceased owner or the deceased donee of the power, or to the effective date of the nontestamentary instrument or contract.

(f) The disclaimer is binding upon the disclaimant and all persons claiming through or under him. Creditors of the disclaimant have no interest in the property or interest disclaimed, whether their claims are based on contract, tort, tax obligations, or otherwise.

(g) A disclaimer made under this subtitle is irrevocable.

Article 9, § 9-204.

(a) The right to disclaim property or an interest in it is barred by (1) an assignment, conveyance, voluntary encumbrance, pledge, or transfer of the property or interest, or a contract for any of those, (2) a written waiver of the right to disclaim, (3) an acceptance of the property or interest or a benefit thereunder, or (4) a sale of the property or interest under judicial sale made before the disclaimer is effected.

(b) The right to disclaim exists notwithstanding any limitation on the interest of the disclaimant in the nature of a spendthrift provision or similar restriction.

Article 9, § 9-205.

This subtitle does not abridge the right of a person to waive, release, disclaim or renounce property or an interest in property under any other statute.

Article 9, § 9-206.

An interest in property that exists on July 1, 1978 as to which the time for filing a disclaimer under this subtitle has not expired may be disclaimed within the time provided in § 9-202 or before April 1, 1979, whichever period is greater.

Article 9, § 9-207.

This subtitle shall be applied and construed to effectuate its general purpose to make uniform the law with respect to the subject of this subtitle among the states enacting it.

Article 9, § 9-208.

This subtitle may be cited as the “Maryland Uniform Disclaimer of Property Interests Act”.

Article 9, § 9-209.