Time to Give Your Kids the House?
Anyone who’s contemplating bequeathing a home or some other property to someone other than a spouse or a charity might consider making the gift this year when there is no estate tax.
After Jan. 1, 2011, the estate tax rate will be 55 percent (60 percent in some cases) on all but the first $1 million, unless Congress changes the law.
If the original owner wants to keep using the property he gives away, he will have to pay fair-market rent to the person or trust that has become the owner. It might seem awkward, but it is an excellent tax strategy.
There are several strategies that help the giver avoid gift taxes as well, but they are rather complex. In general, all of these transfers require advice from an attorney, a tax expert, or both.
Source: The New York Times, Deborah L. Jacobs (10/21/2010)
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