Texas Disclaimer of Property Interest Law

Wills and Estates – Disclaimer of Property Interest – Texas

Passage of Title Upon Intestacy and Under a Will

When a person dies, leaving a lawful will, all of his estate devised or bequeathed by such will, and all powers of appointment granted in such will, shall vest immediately in the devisees or legatees of such estate and the donees of such powers; and all the estate of such person, not devised or bequeathed, shall vest immediately in his heirs at law; subject, however, to the payment of the debts of the testator or intestate, except such as is exempted by law, and subject to the payment of court-ordered child support payments that are delinquent on the date of the person’s death; and whenever a person dies intestate, all of his estate shall vest immediately in his heirs at law, but with the exception aforesaid shall still be liable and subject in their hands to the payment of the debts of the intestate and the delinquent child support payments; but upon the issuance of letters testamentary or of administration upon any such estate, the executor or administrator shall have the right to possession of the estate as it existed at the death of the testator or intestate, with the exception aforesaid; and he shall recover possession of and hold such estate in trust to be disposed of in accordance with the law.

Chap. II, §37.

Means of Evidencing Disclaimer or Renunciation of Property or Interest Receivable From a Decedent

Any person, or the guardian of an incapacitated person, the personal representative of a deceased person, or the guardian ad litem of an unborn or unascertained person, with prior court approval of the court having, or which would have, jurisdiction over such guardian, personal representative, or guardian ad litem, or any independent executor of a deceased person, without prior court approval, who may be entitled to receive any property as a beneficiary and who intends to effect disclaimer irrevocably on or after September 1, 1977, of the whole or any part of such property shall evidence same as herein provided. A disclaimer evidenced as provided herein shall be effective as of the death of decedent and shall relate back for all purposes to the death of the decedent and is not subject to the claims of any creditor of the disclaimant. Unless the decedent’s will provides otherwise, the property subject to the disclaimer shall pass as if the person disclaiming or on whose behalf a disclaimer is made had predeceased the decedent and a future interest that would otherwise take effect in possession or enjoyment after the termination of the estate or interest that is disclaimed takes effect as if the disclaiming beneficiary had predeceased the decedent. Failure to comply with the provisions hereof shall render such disclaimer ineffective except as an assignment of such property to those who would have received same had the person attempting the disclaimer died prior to the decedent. The term “property” as used in this section shall include all legal and equitable interests, powers, and property, whether present or future, whether vested or contingent, and whether beneficial or burdensome, in whole or in part. The term “disclaimer” as used in this section shall include “renunciation.” In this section “beneficiary” includes a person who would have been entitled, if the person had not made a disclaimer, to receive property as a result of the death of another person by inheritance, under a will, by an agreement between spouses for community property with a right of survivorship, by a joint tenancy with a right of survivorship, or by any other survivorship agreement, account, or interest in which the interest of the decedent passes to a surviving beneficiary, by an insurance, annuity, endowment, employment, deferred compensation, or other contract or arrangement, or under a pension, profit sharing, thrift, stock bonus, life insurance, survivor income, incentive, or other plan or program providing retirement, welfare, or fringe benefits with respect to an employee or a self-employed individual. Nothing in this section shall be construed to preclude a subsequent disclaimer by any person who shall be entitled to property as a result of a disclaimer. The following shall apply to such disclaimers:

(a) Written Memorandum of Disclaimer and Filing Thereof. In the case of property receivable by a beneficiary, the disclaimer shall be evidenced by a written memorandum, acknowledged before a notary public or other person authorized to take acknowledgements of conveyances of real estate. Unless the beneficiary is a charitable organization or governmental agency of the state, a written memorandum of disclaimer disclaiming a present interest shall be filed not later than nine months after the death of the decedent and a written memorandum of disclaimer disclaiming a future interest may be filed not later than nine months after the event determining that the taker of the property or interest is finally ascertained and his interest is indefeasibly vested. If the beneficiary is a charitable organization or a governmental agency of the state, a written memorandum of disclaimer disclaiming a present or future interest shall be filed not later than nine months after the beneficiary receives the notice required by Section 128A of this code. The written memorandum of disclaimer shall be filed in the probate court in which the decedent’s will has been probated or in which proceedings have been commenced for the administration of the decedent’s estate or which has before it an application for either of the same; provided, however, if the administration of the decedent’s estate is closed, or after the expiration of one year following the date of the issuance of letters testamentary in an independent administration, or if there has been no will of the decedent probated or filed for probate, or if no administration of the decedent’s estate has been commenced, or if no application for administration of the decedent’s estate has been filed, the written memorandum of disclaimer shall be filed with the county clerk of the county of the decedent’s residence, or, if the decedent is not a resident of this state but real property or an interest therein located in this state is disclaimed, a written memorandum of disclaimer shall be filed with the county clerk of the county in which such real property or interest therein is located, and recorded by such county clerk in the deed records of that county.

(b) Notice of Disclaimer. Unless the beneficiary is a charitable organization or governmental agency of the state, copies of any written memorandum of disclaimer shall be delivered in person to, or shall be mailed by registered or certified mail to and received by, the legal representative of the transferor of the interest or the holder of legal title to the property to which the disclaimer relates not later than nine months after the death of the decedent or, if the interest is a future interest, not later than nine months after the date the person who will receive the property or interest is finally ascertained and the person’s interest is indefeasibly vested. If the beneficiary is a charitable organization or government agency of the state, the notices required by this section shall be filed not later than nine months after the beneficiary receives the notice required by Section 128A of this code.

(c) Power to Provide for Disclaimer. Nothing herein shall prevent a person from providing in a will, insurance policy, employee benefit agreement, or other instrument for the making of disclaimers by a beneficiary of an interest receivable under that instrument and for the disposition of disclaimed property in a manner different from the provisions hereof.

(d) Irrevocability of Disclaimer. Any disclaimer filed and served under this section shall be irrevocable.

(e) Partial Disclaimer. Any person who may be entitled to receive any property as a beneficiary may disclaim such property in whole or in part, including but not limited to specific powers of invasion, powers of appointment, and fee estate in favor of life estates; and a partial disclaimer or renunciation, in accordance with the provisions of this section, shall be effective whether the property so renounced or disclaimed constitutes a portion of a single, aggregate gift or constitutes part or all of a separate, independent gift; provided, however, that a partial disclaimer shall be effective only with respect to property expressly described or referred to by category in such disclaimer; and provided further, that a partial disclaimer of property which is subject to a burdensome interest created by the decedent’s will shall not be effective unless such property constitutes a gift which is separate and distinct from undisclaimed gifts.

(f) Partial Disclaimer by Spouse. Without limiting Subsection (e) of this section, a disclaimer by the decedent’s surviving spouse of a transfer by the decedent is not a disclaimer by the surviving spouse of all or any part of any other transfer from the decedent to or for the benefit of the surviving spouse, regardless of whether the property or interest that would have passed under the disclaimed transfer passes because of the disclaimer to or for the benefit of the surviving spouse by the other transfer.

(g) Disclaimer After Acceptance. No disclaimer shall be effective after the acceptance of the property by the beneficiary. For the purpose of this section, acceptance shall occur only if the person making such disclaimer has previously taken possession or exercised dominion and control of such property in the capacity of beneficiary.

(h) Interest in Trust Property. A beneficiary who accepts an interest in a trust is not considered to have a direct or indirect interest in trust property that relates to a licensed or permitted business and over which the beneficiary exercises no control. Direct or indirect beneficial ownership of not more than five percent of any class of equity securities that is registered under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 shall not be deemed to be an ownership interest in the business of the issuer of such securities within the meaning of any statute, pursuant thereto.

Chap. II, §37A.


Inside Texas Disclaimer of Property Interest Law