5815.36 Disclaiming testamentary and nontestamentary succession to real and personal property.

(A) As used in this section:

(1) "Disclaimant" means any person, any guardian or personal representative of a person or estate of a person, or any attorney-in-fact or agent of a person having a general or specific authority to act granted in a written instrument, who is any of the following:

(a) With respect to testamentary instruments and intestate succession, an heir, next of kin, devisee, legatee, donee, person succeeding to a disclaimed interest, surviving joint tenant, surviving tenant by the entireties, surviving tenant of a tenancy with a right of survivorship, beneficiary under a testamentary instrument, or person designated to take pursuant to a power of appointment exercised by a testamentary instrument;

(b) With respect to nontestamentary instruments, a grantee, donee, person succeeding to a disclaimed interest, surviving joint tenant, surviving tenant by the entireties, surviving tenant of a tenancy with a right of survivorship, beneficiary under a nontestamentary instrument, or person designated to take pursuant to a power of appointment exercised by a nontestamentary instrument;

(c) With respect to fiduciary rights, privileges, powers, and immunities, a fiduciary under a testamentary or nontestamentary instrument. Division (A)(1)(c) of this section does not authorize a fiduciary who disclaims fiduciary rights, privileges, powers, and immunities to cause the rights of any beneficiary to be disclaimed unless the instrument creating the fiduciary relationship authorizes the fiduciary to make such a disclaimer.

(d) Any person entitled to take an interest in property upon the death of a person or upon the occurrence of any other event.

(2) "Personal representative" includes any fiduciary as defined in section 2109.01 of the Revised Code and any executor, trustee, guardian, or other person or entity having a fiduciary relationship with regard to any interest in property passing to the fiduciary, executor, trustee, guardian, or other person or entity by reason of a disclaimant's death.

(3) "Property" means all forms of property, real and personal, tangible and intangible.

(B)

(1) A disclaimant, other than a fiduciary under an instrument who is not authorized by the instrument to disclaim the interest of a beneficiary, may disclaim, in whole or in part, the succession to any property by executing and by delivering, filing, or recording a written disclaimer instrument in the manner provided in this section.

(2) A disclaimant who is a fiduciary under an instrument may disclaim, in whole or in part, any right, power, privilege, or immunity, by executing and by delivering, filing, or recording a written disclaimer instrument in the manner provided in this section.

(3) The written instrument of disclaimer shall be signed and acknowledged by the disclaimant and shall contain all of the following:

(a) A reference to the donative instrument;

(b) A description of the property, part of property, or interest disclaimed, and of any fiduciary right, power, privilege, or immunity disclaimed;

(c) A declaration of the disclaimer and its extent.

(4) The guardian of the estate of a minor or an incompetent, or the personal representative of a deceased person, whether or not authorized by the instrument to disclaim, with the consent of the probate division of the court of common pleas may disclaim, in whole or in part, the succession to any property, or interest in property, that the ward, if an adult and competent, or the deceased, if living, might have disclaimed. The guardian or personal representative, or any interested person may file an application with the probate division of the court of common pleas that has jurisdiction of the estate, asking that the court order the guardian or personal representative to execute and deliver, file, or record the disclaimer on behalf of the ward, estate, or deceased person. The court shall order the guardian or personal representative to execute and deliver, file, or record the disclaimer if the court finds, upon hearing after notice to interested parties and such other persons as the court shall direct, that:

(a) It is in the best interests of those interested in the estate of the person and of those who will take the disclaimed interest;

(b) It would not materially, adversely affect the minor or incompetent, or the beneficiaries of the estate of the decedent, taking into consideration other available resources and the age, probable life expectancy, physical and mental condition, and present and reasonably anticipated future needs of the minor or incompetent or the beneficiaries of the estate of the decedent.

A written instrument of disclaimer ordered by the court under this division shall be executed and be delivered, filed, or recorded within the time and in the manner in which the person could have disclaimed if the person were living, an adult, and competent.

(C) A partial disclaimer of property that is subject to a burdensome interest created by the donative instrument is not effective unless the disclaimed property constitutes a gift that is separate and distinct from undisclaimed gifts.

(D) The disclaimant shall deliver, file, or record the disclaimer, or cause the same to be done, prior to accepting any benefits of the disclaimed interest and at any time after the latest of the following dates:

(1) The effective date of the donative instrument if both the taker and the taker's interest in the property are finally ascertained on that date;

(2) The date of the occurrence of the event upon which both the taker and the taker's interest in the property become finally ascertainable;

(3) The date on which the disclaimant attains eighteen years of age or is no longer an incompetent, without tendering or repaying any benefit received while the disclaimant was under eighteen years of age or an incompetent, and even if a guardian of a minor or incompetent had filed an application pursuant to division (B)(4) of this section and the probate division of the court of common pleas involved did not consent to the guardian executing a disclaimer.

(E) No disclaimer instrument is effective under this section if either of the following applies under the terms of the disclaimer instrument:

(1) The disclaimant has power to revoke the disclaimer.

(2) The disclaimant may transfer, or direct to be transferred, to self the entire legal and equitable ownership of the property subject to the disclaimer instrument.

(F)

(1) Subject to division (F)(2) of this section, if the interest disclaimed is created by a nontestamentary instrument, including, but not limited to, a transfer on death designation affidavit pursuant to section 5302.22 of the Revised Code, the disclaimer instrument shall be delivered personally or by certified mail to the trustee or other person who has legal title to, or possession of, the property disclaimed. If the interest disclaimed is created by a transfer on death designation affidavit pursuant to section 5302.22 of the Revised Code, the disclaimer instrument shall be filed with the county recorder of the county in which the real property that is the subject of that affidavit is located.

(2) If the interest disclaimed is created by a testamentary instrument, by intestate succession, or by a certificate of title to a motor vehicle, watercraft, or outboard motor that evidences ownership of the motor vehicle, watercraft, or outboard motor that is transferable on death pursuant to section 2131.13 of the Revised Code, the disclaimer instrument shall be filed in the probate division of the court of common pleas in the county in which proceedings for the administration of the decedent's estate have been commenced, and an executed copy of the disclaimer instrument shall be delivered personally or by certified mail to the personal representative of the decedent's estate.

(3) If no proceedings for the administration of the decedent's estate have been commenced, the disclaimer instrument shall be filed in the probate division of the court of common pleas in the county in which proceedings for the administration of the decedent's estate might be commenced according to law. The disclaimer instrument shall be filed and indexed, and fees charged, in the same manner as provided by law for an application to be appointed as personal representative to administer the decedent's estate. The disclaimer is effective whether or not proceedings thereafter are commenced to administer the decedent's estate. If proceedings thereafter are commenced for the administration of the decedent's estate, they shall be filed under, or consolidated with, the case number assigned to the disclaimer instrument.

(4) If an interest in real estate is disclaimed, an executed copy of the disclaimer instrument also shall be recorded in the office of the recorder of the county in which the real estate is located. The disclaimer instrument shall include a description of the real estate with sufficient certainty to identify it, and shall contain a reference to the record of the instrument that created the interest disclaimed. If title to the real estate is registered under Chapters 5309. and 5310. of the Revised Code, the disclaimer interest shall be entered as a memorial on the last certificate of title. A spouse of a disclaimant has no dower or other interest in the real estate disclaimed.

(G) If a donative instrument expressly provides for the distribution of property, part of property, or interest in property if there is a disclaimer, the property, part of property, or interest disclaimed shall be distributed or disposed of, and accelerated or not accelerated, in accordance with the donative instrument. In the absence of express provisions to the contrary in the donative instrument, the property, part of property, or interest in property disclaimed, and any future interest that is to take effect in possession or enjoyment at or after the termination of the interest disclaimed, shall descend, be distributed, or otherwise be disposed of, and shall be accelerated, in the following manner:

(1) If intestate or testate succession is disclaimed, as if the disclaimant had predeceased the decedent;

(2) If the disclaimant is one designated to take pursuant to a power of appointment exercised by a testamentary instrument, as if the disclaimant had predeceased the donee of the power;

(3) If the donative instrument is a nontestamentary instrument, as if the disclaimant had died before the effective date of the nontestamentary instrument;

(4) If the disclaimer is of a fiduciary right, power, privilege, or immunity, as if the right, power, privilege, or immunity was never in the donative instrument.

(H) A disclaimer pursuant to this section is effective as of, and relates back for all purposes to, the date upon which the taker and the taker's interest have been finally ascertained.

(I) A disclaimant who has a present and future interest in property, and disclaims the disclaimant's present interest in whole or in part, is considered to have disclaimed the disclaimant's future interest to the same extent, unless a contrary intention appears in the disclaimer instrument or the donative instrument. A disclaimant is not precluded from receiving, as an alternative taker, a beneficial interest in the property disclaimed, unless a contrary intention appears in the disclaimer instrument or in the donative instrument.

(J) The disclaimant's right to disclaim under this section is barred if the disclaimant does any of the following:

(1) Assigns, conveys, encumbers, pledges, or transfers, or contracts to assign, convey, encumber, pledge, or transfer, the property or any interest in it;

(2) Waives in writing the disclaimant's right to disclaim and executes and delivers, files, or records the waiver in the manner provided in this section for a disclaimer instrument;

(3) Accepts the property or an interest in it;

(4) Permits or suffers a sale or other disposition of the property pursuant to judicial action against the disclaimant.

(K) Neither a fiduciary's application for appointment or assumption of duties as a fiduciary nor a beneficiary's application for appointment as a personal representative or fiduciary waives or bars the disclaimant's right to disclaim a right, power, privilege, or immunity as a personal representative or fiduciary or the beneficiary's right to disclaim property.

(L) The right to disclaim under this section exists irrespective of any limitation on the interest of the disclaimant in the nature of a spendthrift provision or similar restriction.

(M) A disclaimer instrument or written waiver of the right to disclaim that has been executed and delivered, filed, or recorded as required by this section is final and binding upon all persons.

(N)

(1) The right to disclaim and the procedures for disclaimer established by this section are in addition to, and do not exclude or abridge, any other rights or procedures that exist or formerly existed under any other section of the Revised Code or at common law to assign, convey, release, refuse to accept, renounce, waive, or disclaim property.

(2) A disclaimer is not considered a transfer or conveyance by the disclaimant, and no creditor of a disclaimant may avoid a disclaimer.

(3) This section shall take precedence over any other section of the Revised Code that conflicts with this section.

(O)

(1) No person is liable for distributing or disposing of property in a manner inconsistent with the terms of a valid disclaimer if the distribution or disposition is otherwise proper and the person has no actual knowledge of the disclaimer.

(2) No person is liable for distributing or disposing of property in reliance upon the terms of a disclaimer that is invalid because the right of disclaimer has been waived or barred if the distribution or disposition is otherwise proper and the person has no actual knowledge of the facts that constitute a waiver or bar to the right to disclaim.

(P)

(1) A disclaimant may disclaim pursuant to this section any interest in property that is in existence on September 27, 1976, if either the interest in the property or the taker of the interest in the property is not finally ascertained on that date.

(2) No disclaimer executed pursuant to this section destroys or diminishes an interest in property that exists on September 27, 1976, in any person other than the disclaimant.

(Q) This section may be applied separately to different interests or powers created in the disclaimant by the same testamentary or nontestamentary instrument.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.201, HB 479, §1, eff. 3/27/2013.

Amended by 128th General AssemblyFile No.17, SB 124, §1, eff. 12/28/2009.

Effective Date: 01-01-2007; 2008 HB160 06-20-2008