Where a person becomes entitled to an interest in settled property but disclaims the interest, then, if the disclaimer is not made for consideration in money or money's worth, the IHT legislation applies as if he had not become entitled to the interest1.
It should be remembered that a disclaimer cannot be made once the interest has been accepted by, eg, accepting benefit under it2, and that in English law disclaimer is only possible in relation to the entire interest, although it may be possible to disclaim part of an interest with the consent of the persons who take the interest in the event of a disclaimer. A disclaimer can be made informally by conduct, and does not need to be by written instrument for the section to apply.
In the Special Commissioner decision Cook v IRC3 the testatrix's widower had been given by her Will a right of residence in the matrimonial home. He died about two months after her, not having lived in the house since the testatrix's death, and having shown an intention of going to live with his daughter. The Revenue argued that there had been disclaimer of the interest by conduct, but the Special Commissioner held that disclaimer would not be readily presumed where it was to the advantage of the person to retain the gift, that he did nothing to show clearly that he never intended to occupy the property, and that the evidence in favour of disclaimer by