Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in Nevada

If a person is named one of the beneficiaries of a will and/or trust, do they have to accept it? And if not do they just have to say no, or do they have to go through a legal process to not accept it? His will was written in Nevada if that makes any difference.

Asked on 9/21/11, 12:37 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Rick Williams Law Offices of Frederick D. (Rick) Williams, Chtd.

An expression of intent not to make claim on property left to a person in a will is called a renunciation or disclaimer of interest. Nobody is forced to accept a gift from someone who offers it in a will or trust, but if the will is in probate, or the trust has been challenged before the court, a formal disclaimer must be lodged with the court to make clear that the intended beneficiary does not wish to - or cannot - accept the bequest (or gift).

Do not wait too long before filing the disclaimer, though. Under Nevada law (NRS 120.030) it is presumed that you have disclaimed within a reasonable time if you file it with the probate court within nine months following the death of the giver of the property. If the property is real estate, the document must have the same dignity and formality as a deed (NRS 120.040) and is recorded in the county where the property is located.

There are other formal requirements, depending on the kind of property it is. We can help you for a very reasonable cost, if it is necessary for you to file one in Nevada (e.g., if the will is filed here and a probate is opened). We would not be able to help if the probate is in Tennessee.

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Answered on 9/22/11, 12:21 pm

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