My brother died and his Will divides his estate between my sister and me. I really don't need the money and would rather have it go to my children. How can I do this?
In this age of increased life expectancy it is not uncommon for someone to inherit at an age where they no longer can receive any significant benefit from an inheritance. You have two options if you want your children to receive the inheritance.
Your first option is to accept the inheritance and then give it to your children. Be aware that any gift of more than $13,000 to an individual in a single year requires filing a gift tax return.
The second option is a legal "no thank you" which is called a qualified disclaimer. The effect of the disclaimer is that you are treated as predeceasing your brother. Therefore, prior to disclaiming, you need to check with an experienced estate planning attorney to make sure the disclaimer has desired results.
With a gift you can have precise control over the amount and manner by which your children will receive the money. With a disclaimer you have no such control and the inheritance will go to your children equally. It is also worth noting that a disclaimer is not an all or nothing technique. You can disclaim everything, a fraction of the inheritance, or specific assets.