IHTA 1984, s 142(1) also applies where the benefit conferred by any of the dispositions of the property comprised in a person's estate immediately before his death is disclaimed within the period of two years of the death. Nobody can be forced to accept a gift, whether one taking effect inter vivos or on a person's death1. The converse of this is that the right of disclaimer is extinguished as soon as a gift has been accepted in whole or in part. HMRC states that acceptance of a benefit prevents disclaimer2.
As with a variation, a disclaimer must be made by instrument in writing by the persons or any of the persons who benefit or would benefit under the disposition(s)3.
The instrument must be made within two years of death but needn't contain an IHT statement, as required for variations (see I4.412.
The effect of s 142(1) applying to a disclaimer is that the disclaimer is treated as having been effected by the deceased. Although no additional statutory provision would seem to be necessary to exempt the disclaimer from being a transfer of value by the person making the disclaimer, s 17(a) confirms that a disclaimer to which IHTA 1984, s 142(1) applies is not a