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HMRC internal manual

Capital Gains Manual

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HM Revenue & Customs
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Variations: estate: disclaimers: general

A person who makes a disclaimer gives up his or her right to receive an interest thathe or she would otherwise have received under the terms of a will or intestacy. He or shedoes not give any direction as to how the interest foregone should be dealt with after thedisclaimer. But usually the person is well aware of the consequences of making thatdisclaimer and knows to whom the interest will pass as a result of the disclaimer.

In general law, a beneficiary has the right to

  • renounce a gift made to them under a will or
  • disclaim their interest under an intestacy.

A beneficiary may disclaim in writing or by conduct and the disclaimer must apply tothe whole of the benefit. The beneficiary must not have received any benefit from theproperty being disclaimed, although generally they may accept one gift in a Will anddisclaim another. However only written disclaimers have retrospective effect for CGT orIHT purposes, see CG31490 and IHTM35162.

Further guidance on the legal requirements for disclaimers may be found at IHT35161+.