Recently, we were in contact with a prospective client who started handling her uncle’s estate on her own. She had reached out to us because she was having issues with the Probate Court rejecting some of her filings. So, as we began to discuss the process we started talking about Waivers. Now Waivers when dealing with the Probate Court means that someone who is legally entitled to perform a legal act has waived their right to do so. Most commonly, we see this when it comes to administering an estate. Typically, children and surviving spouses have the right to administer the estate. And when someone waives their right to do so it means that they are agreeing to allow the other person to perform the duties.
And when it comes to Probate, there are multiple Waivers that need to be filed i.e. waiver of right to administer the estate, waiver of notice of probating the will, waiver of inventory and appraisal to name a few.
Far too often, people just like the caller, believed that a Waiver meant that the other heirs didn’t want anything from the estate. So, as she explained, all of the next of kin “signed a Waiver so that means I get everything.” Unfortunately, that is not the case. In order for someone to waive their right to inherit, they need to sign a Disclaimer.
A Disclaimer is a legal notice to the Probate court acknowledging the fact that a person is legally entitled to receive under the estate, but that they have chosen to to accept their inheritance. We typically see waivers when it comes to government benefits like medicaid or when siblings want to streamline the probate process. In the medicaid arena, it is very beneficial because someone who might inherit $30,000.00 today would lose out on $30,000.00 of annual benefits through medicaid. So, it really doesn’t make financial sense for them to accept the inheritance.
If you’re struggling with Probate feel free to give us a call us on 740 346 2899.