From our “Ask a Question” Mailbag: Disclaiming Your Inheritance Due to Creditor Issues in New Jersey
Most Recently Updated July 9, 2018
“My father, a Gloucester County, New Jersey resident, is planning to leave me an inheritance in his Will. I have substantial creditor problems. If my father dies, can I disclaim my inheritance so it passes to my children?”
Disclaiming Your Inheritance Due to Creditor Issues in New Jersey
In New Jersey, a disclaimer is an heir’s legal refusal to accept a gift or a bequest. In other words, you can’t force someone to accept a gift. If a Will names someone an heir or if a life insurance policy names a beneficiary, that heir or beneficiary cannot be “forced” to accept the gift. If the heir or beneficiary legally and properly refuses the gift, it is called a “disclaimer.”
But, an heir or beneficiary cannot use a disclaimer to avoid existing creditors. I would have to know your exact circumstances, but it sounds as if your creditors would be able to properly claim your disclaimer was fraud under the Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act.
There are options!
That being said, your father does have other options to shelter the gift. New Jersey allows for him to set up a protective trust for your benefit, where the assets are held for your benefit but are not available to your creditors. He could also name your children as the beneficiaries of the estate, so your creditors would have no claims.
These decisions are up to your father, but if he consults with an experienced Gloucester County Estate Planning Attorney he will find that he has many options available so he can benefit his child or grandchildren and avoid the gift from passing to your creditors.
More Planning Questions?
Protecting an inheritance from creditors is only a piece of the Estate Planning process. By all means, if you want to learn more, please read my more detailed article, Estate Planning Everything You Need to Know.
In Conclusion: Disclaiming Your Inheritance Due to Creditor Issues in New Jersey
I hope that this article was helpful in explaining how to protect an inheritance. Further, I included links to even more detailed information on my website so you can learn more. Therefore, please contact me and let me know how I did. Certainly, your comments and questions are welcome!
Let our Estate Planning lawyers help walk you through what can be a confusing process. To begin with, call to speak to one of our experienced estate planning lawyers. By all means, our lawyers are ready to answer your questions. In fact, feel free to contact our office for a free consultation. Ultimately our goal is to make the process as painless as possible!
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