Massachusetts Disclaimer of Interest

Disclaimer of Interest for Real Estate Located in Massachusetts

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A beneficiary of an interest in property in Massachusetts can renounce all or part of a bequeathed interest in, or power over, that property under M.G.L. ch.190B 2.801(a). This only works as long as it has not been accepted through actions that indicate ownership or been transferred in any way (M.G.L. ch.190B 2.801(h)). The written disclaimer must identify the creator of the interest, provide a description of the disclaimed interest, a declaration of the disclaimer and its extent, and the disclaiming party must sign in front of a notary (M.G.L. ch.190B 2.801(d)).

File the disclaimer within nine months of the transfer (e.g., the death of the creator of the interest) with the probate court (M.G.L. ch.190B 2.801(c) and (e)). In the case of real property, acknowledge the disclaimer as is required for a deed and record the disclaimer in the registry of deeds for the county or district in which the property is located, which will constitute notice to everyone. In addition, deliver a copy of the disclaimer to the person or legal entity having custody or possession of the property.

A disclaimer is irrevocable and binding for the disclaiming party, so be sure to consult an attorney when in doubt about the drawbacks and benefits of disclaiming inherited property. If the disclaimed interest arises out of jointly-owned property, seek legal advice as well.

(Massachusetts DOI Package includes form, guidelines, and completed example)

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