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Test Your Estate Planning Vocabulary
(Updated: 05/08/2017)

Which of the words below most accurately corresponds to the following definition?

Definition: A refusal to accept property or assets that meets certain tax code provisions, allowing the property to be treated as though it had never been received by the intended beneficiary.

  1. Qualified denial
  2. Refused interest
  3. Qualified disclaimer
  4. Contingent refusal

Answer: C.

Internal Revenue Code Section 2518 permits the beneficiary of an estate, trust, or certain other financial assets to make a qualified disclaimer, essentially refusing to accept all or part of the property. By doing so, the primary beneficiary can avoid paying taxes on the assets and ensure that they pass to another named beneficiary.

To be valid, a qualified disclaimer needs to meet the following four criteria:

  1. The disclaimer must be in writing.
  2. The disclaimer must be received by the original property owner's executor within nine months of the date of the transfer.
  3. The beneficiary may not have benefited from the property in any way.
  4. The property must pass to someone other than the person making the qualified disclaimer.

It's important to note that you have no control over disclaimed assets; you cannot direct how the property is distributed. Instead, the disclaimed property will pass according to the original owner's instructions (i.e., to the next named beneficiary).

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