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End of year gift giving for one's heirs

Many Kent area residents recognize the value of passing their assets on to their heirs. There are many ways that this can happen, but one way is through the tax strategy of gifting a certain amount to one's heirs each year. Now is the time to think about end of the year gifting.

There are some things to keep in mind when considering making end of the year gifts. Gifts can be made up to $14,000 to an individual without having to file a gift tax return. If a person goes over $14,000 in gift money, they may not have to pay taxes if under the lifetime limit but they need to report it. The gift amount is cumulative during the year. And the gift needs to be completed before the end of the year. A check needs to be cashed by the end of 2015 and stock needs to be in the recipient's name by December 31. If a person pays for a family member's medical expenses or educational expenses they may be considered 2503(e) gifts, which have different rules.

Estate planning is a fluid process that can change each year of a person's life. The distribution of assets is important to most families. A legal professional with experience in estate planning can help a family make sure their assets are protected and passed to their heirs in an organized fashion. They are skilled in the many ways a family can distribute their assets both while they are alive and after they have passed. A person's legacy is an important item they can leave for future generations, and an estate planning attorney can help make sure a person's legacy is protected.

As the new year quickly approaches many people may be thinking about making end of year gifts to loved ones. An estate planning attorney can help a family make informed decisions that help their heirs and charitable organizations.

Source:, "End of year gifting takes planning", Christopher Yugo, Dec. 13, 2015

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