Tennessee Disclaimer of Property Interest Law

Wills and Estates – Disclaimer of Property Interest – Tennessee


(a) A person who is:

(1) The donee of a gift, whether outright or in trust;
(2) A recipient of property from a decedent’s estate;
(3) A recipient of property on the exercise of a power of appointment;
(4) A recipient of property resulting from another person’s disclaimer;
(5) A recipient of property resulting from any other type of gratuitous transfer;
(6) A fiduciary holding powers as a fiduciary; or
(7) A beneficiary designated in a pay-on-death account, an insurance policy, an individual retirement account, an annuity, a retirement plan whether qualified or not, or any other type of deferred compensation arrangement; may disclaim all or part of the property, powers or interest therein as provided herein. Such disclaimer may be made by the person’s personal representative, trustee, guardian, conservator, attorney in fact or parent having custody if the disclaimant is a minor and no legal guardian has been appointed. If the disclaimer is made by a fiduciary, including, but not limited to, the enumerated positions in the preceding sentence, the disclaimer shall be binding on any successor fiduciary.

(b) To be effective the disclaimer must be an irrevocable and unqualified refusal by a person to accept an interest in property or to retain fiduciary powers but only if:

(1) Such refusal is in writing, which writing shall:

(A) Describe the property or part thereof or interest therein or poers disclaimed;
(B) Be signed by the person disclaiming or such person’s representative; and
(C) Declare the disclaimer and the extent thereof.

(2) Such writing is received by the transferor of the interest, the transferor’s legal representative, or the holder of the legal title to the property to which the interest relates, and, if the subject of the disclaimer is realty, is filed in the county register’s office and, if the disclaimer involves an interest in a decedent’s estate, with the court in which the decedent’s estate proceedings are or would be pending not later than the date which is nine (9) months after the later of:

(A) The date on which the transfer creating the interest or power in such person is made, or
(B) The day on which such person attains age twenty-one (21).

(3) Such person has not accepted the interest or any of its benefits or exercised the power; and
(4) As a result of such refusal, the interest passes without any direction on the part of the person making the disclaimer and passes either:

(A) To the spouse of the transferor; or
(B) To a person other than the person making the disclaimer.
(c) Unless the decedent has otherwise indicated by will, the interest disclaimed passes to those persons including the ones who would take under § 32-3-105 as if the person disclaiming had predeceased the decedent. Unless the donor of a gift or the creator of a power has otherwise indicated in the document evidencing the gift or creating the power, the interest disclaimed passes as if the person disclaiming had died intestate, or, if the person disclaiming is one designated to take pursuant to a power of appointment, as if the person disclaiming had predeceased the donee of the power. In every case the disclaimer relates back for all purposes to the date of death of the decedent, the date of the gift or the date of death of the donee of a power, as the case may be. If the disclaimer is of a fiduciary power, the power will either be exercisable by some other fiduciary or void.
(d) Any:

(1) Assignment, conveyance, encumbrance, pledge, or transfer of property or an interest therein or any contract therefor;
(2) Written waiver of the right to disclaim or any acceptance of property by an heir, devisee, donee, person succeeding to a disclaimed interest, beneficiary, or person designated to take pursuant to a power of appointment; or
(3) Sale or other disposition of property pursuant to judicial process; made before the expiration of the period in which the person is permitted to disclaim, bars the right to disclaim as to the property.

(e) The right to disclaim granted by this section exists irrespective of any limitation on the interest of the person disclaiming in the nature of a spendthrift provision or similar restriction.
(f) This section does not abridge the right of any person to assign, convey, release, or disclaim any property arising under any other section of this title or any other statute.
(g) Any interest in property which exists on April 1, 1977, at one minute past midnight (12:01 a.m.), but which has not then become indefeasibly fixed both in quality and quantity, or the taker of which has not then become finally ascertained, may be disclaimed after one minute past midnight (12:01 a.m.) on April 1, 1977, as provided herein. An interest which has arisen prior to one minute past midnight (12:01 a.m.) on April 1, 1977, in any person other than the person disclaiming is not destroyed or diminished by any action of the person disclaiming taken under this section.

Title 31, Chap. 1, §31-1-103.

Inside Tennessee Disclaimer of Property Interest Law