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Can I Give Part of My Inheritance to Someone Else?

Can I Give Part of My Inheritance to Someone Else?
Estate Planning and Probate
Jason Neufeld
April 20, 2023

Are you the lucky recipient of an inheritance? 

Whether a large sum or something more modest, getting an inheritance can be a great opportunity to improve your financial situation. 

But what if you don't need all that money? Is it possible to give part of your inheritance away to someone else?

In this article, we’ll discuss whether giving part of your inheritance is legally and financially feasible. From understanding how taxes work with inherited assets to considering implications for both yourself and the recipient, there are many things to consider.

Ultimately, deciding what to do with your inheritance is up to you—but only after you understand what's involved. Let's dive in, so you have everything you need to make informed choices about sharing your wealth.

Reasons You Might Want to Refuse an Inheritance

Deciding whether or not to accept an inheritance can be difficult. 

There are many reasons why someone may refuse their inheritance, and these should be considered before making any final decisions:

  1. Financial obligations. If the gift comes with any debts attached, then this could leave you liable for those payments, which could put unnecessary strain on your finances if you cannot afford them. This was a larger issue during the real estate downturn, people didn’t want to inherit homes that were worth less than the underlying debt.
  2. Tax liability and loss of government aid. If accepting the inheritance would have negative consequences on your tax liability or ability to receive needed government assistance, refusing may seem like your only option. However, disclaiming an inheritance can be deemed a gift in the eyes of medicaid, so this needs to be done under the supervision of an experienced elder law attorney, if applicable to you.
  3. Personal choice. If you feel that another person would benefit more than you, or you just don’t want to deal with the hassle of managing the assets, you could refuse part or all of your inheritance.

Is It Possible to Give Part of an Inheritance to Someone Else?

Yes, you absolutely can give away part of your inheritance. In Florida, you have the option to only disclaim a part of the inheritance, conditionally or unconditionally. Once this decision is made, it cannot be reversed.

The disclaimer must be in writing and be signed and witnessed. And the amount you decide to gift should be expressed as a percentage, fraction, dollar amount, or another interest in the property.

It’s important to consult a probate lawyer experienced in dealing with inheritances, as there can be many unexpected complications. Depending on what type of assets comprise your inheritance, laws governing its distribution could vary significantly. 

Giving away part of an inheritance could easily backfire without considering these steps.

Financial Planning and Tax Considerations of Giving Part of an Inheritance

When deciding to give part of an inheritance to another person, it's important to consider the financial and tax planning consequences that come with it.

First, you should ensure that any transfer is done according to the state’s gift laws and filing requirements. This will mean understanding how those gifts affect taxes and whether or not they need to be reported.

It's also essential to get a good grasp on the difference between gifting assets versus transferring ownership of them. While gifting generally won't incur additional costs, transferring ownership may require fees such as legal expenses or capital gains taxes if applicable.

Knowing which option is better suited for your needs can help you make sure you’re making the right decision when parting ways with some or all of your assets.

These are just a few things you’ll have to consider before embarking on this journey. Considering all these factors will allow you to plan ahead and take steps toward a successful transition of ownership should you choose that route.

Getting Assistance With Gifting Part of an Inheritance

An estate planning law firm is a great resource if you're considering gifting part of your inheritance. Estate planning attorneys understand the laws and regulations governing gift-giving and can help you create a plan that works best for your situation. 

They can help you decide which assets to gift, how to structure the gift, and what documentation is necessary. 

An estate planning attorney can also provide advice on tax implications, the potential impact of gifting on your estate, and the best strategies for protecting your heirs. In addition, they can advise you on strategies for protecting your own interests in the event of a dispute. 

Lastly, a good estate planning attorney is familiar with the different methods of gifting and can help you decide which one is right for your situation.

Protect Your Assets. Plan Ahead With Elder Needs Law.

Giving part of your inheritance to someone else is possible, but it may or may not be the best option for you. Before doing so, make sure that you’re aware of the consequences.

Also, consider potential taxes associated with transferring large sums of money to avoid unexpected fees down the line.

Ultimately, deciding whether or not giving part of an inheritance is right for you is up to you alone. Contact our attorneys at Elder Needs Law today to discuss your options.

Jason Neufeld

Jason Neufeld is the Founder and Managing Partner of Elder Needs Law, a Florida estate planning and elder law firm he created in 2017. With more than 15 years of experience practicing law, he represents clients in a wide range of legal matters, including Medicaid planning, estate planning, elder law, probate, Medicare, and life insurance.

Jason received his Juris Doctor from the University of Miami — School of Law and is a member of the Florida Bar and the Broward County Bar Association. He has received numerous accolades for his work, including being named a Rising Star and Super Lawyer by Super Lawyers and among the Florida Legal Elite by Florida Trend in 2024.

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