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  • Carol Highfill

Assignment of Interest in Probate Estate California

Updated: Nov 29, 2021




In probate there are cases to which someone would like to give away their right as a beneficiary to inherit a family member's estate. Due to California probate laws, this person would be due a portion of the estate but may be the person that passed away died without a will (intestate succession). The person that is inheriting the portion of the estate views that they don't need it or prefer that someone else receives it. Another reason why someone would want to give away their benefits is to pay someone they owe money to. This is where the assignment of interest comes in handy.

When you assign your portion of your estate, you choose who gets it. This is where you can avoid some issues with taxes, but you would need to talk to an experienced California paralegal and/or a tax advisor to find out what tax implications apply to you.

How do you assign your inheritance?

Assignments are executed in writing, naming your personal details, and what you have for your inheritance. This is then delivered to the executor of the estate or the trustee of the trust. There is no real timeframe for the assignment, so it can be done at your leisure.

What Happens If You Dispose Your Share of an Estate?

If you don't want your share of an estate, the next heir in line would take it.

What is the difference between assignment and disclaim?

The person inherits the property and then gives it away to someone of their choosing (assign), whereas with the disclaimer, the person cannot choose the distribution of the inheritance.

Why do people assign their interest in the estate to someone else?

Here are just a few reasons why a person would want to assign their share of the estate:

  1. To avoid estate taxes

  2. To pass the inheritance on to the next person in line efficiently and with no gift tax

  3. In order not be disqualified from certain government benefits like Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Medicaid

  4. To keep creditors from taking their share due to bankruptcy

Why would someone assign their interest in the estate to someone else:

To avoid gift tax if they don't intent to use the money themselves

To exchange their inheritance for an immediate cash payment from a third party

What if I need professional help?

Every case is unique, and it can be hard to figure out what to do next. If you have any questions about assigning interests in your estate, please contact us at 909-451-9819.

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