The Estates, Trusts and Probate Law Section of the District of Columbia Bar, whose members include lawyers who both advise clients on assets protection and planning for disability or death and assist clients to administer decedents’ estates, trusts and assets of incapacitated persons, supports the enactment of the Revised Uniform Disclaimer of Property Interests Act (RUDPIA), now pending before the Council of the District of Columbia.
Disclaimers are an important tool in estate planning and in the administration of trusts and decedent estates. A disclaimer allows the beneficiary of an interest in an estate or a trust to disclaim or renounce that interest, thereby allowing that interest to pass to an alternate beneficiary. Disclaimers permit post-mortem estate planning, allow the intent of a testator to be effective even where circumstances may have changed, and allow beneficiaries of an interest in property and fiduciaries the flexibility to accept, or renounce, an interest in property as deemed most beneficial to the disclaiming person.
The District of Columbia has previously enacted legislation permitting disclaimers in certain cases. However, since the enactment of disclaimer law in D.C., the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws, in 2002, revised the then-existing Uniform Disclaimer of Property Interests Act. The 2002 revision has already been adopted in Maryland and Virginia. It would be of great benefit to the public and to the attorneys and trust administrators who serve them to have identical disclaimer laws of all three jurisdictions in the Washington metropolitan area.
Authors and Contributors to this Statement
Edward G. Varrone, Kimberly Martin Turner, and Morris Klein
Kimberly Martin Turner (Co-Chair), Edward G. Varrone (Co-Chair), Robert S. Bullock, Morris Klein, Anne Meister, Barbara R. Miller, Julia L. O’Brien, Archie L. Palmore, Paul D. Pearlstein