Tax Consequences of Gifting Property Before You Die

Performance Property Real Estate Question

Q: Gerald, I want to leave our home to my kids, should I give it to them before or after I die? Dan, Peekskill, NY

A: Dan, I’m sure you may have personal reasons for giving your home to your kids now as opposed to after you pass, so I’ll leave that up to you. If you expect to have a large estate when you die, gifting assets now and reducing the size of your estate may help you avoid estate tax. If you give your property to your kids now, their cost basis in your home will be the property value now. If you bequeath your property to your kids when you pass, their cost basis in the property will be the property value when you die. So, assuming tax rates don’t change, if your home’s property value goes up and continues to go up after you pass, the potential taxable gain your kids would be saddled with would be higher if you give them the house now than if you waited.

Thanks for your question, Dan. Good luck.

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