Disclaimer of interest, in the law of inheritance, wills and trusts, is a term that describes an attempt by a person to renounce their legal right to benefit from an inheritance (either under a will or through intestacy) or through a trust. A disclaimer of interest is irrevocable. There are a number of reasons why a person might wish to avoid an inheritance, particularly if the proceeds would only go to their creditors, or if it would drastically affect their income tax liabilities. Disclaimer of interest is also called a renunciation. A disclaimer of interest must be complete, and not a partial disclaimer. Such a disclaimer can be made by a legal guardian on behalf of a person who lacks the capacity to make the disclaimer themselves, but this usually requires the finding by a court that the disclaimer is in the ward’s best interest.
State laws greatly vary with respect to disclaimer of interest. The laws of all the states relating to disclaimer of interest can be found at the following links.