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How do I avoid estate taxes on property?

I'm going to inherit some property in Missouri. Could I possible avoid estate taxes if add my wife and brother as co-owners, instead of putting them in my will? .

Kansas City, MO -

Attorney Answers (2)

Jennifer Lynn Finch

Jennifer Lynn Finch

Estate Planning Attorney - Kansas City, MO
Answered

Estate taxes are based on the total value of the estate of the person who died, not on the individual asset value. Adding someone to the title of the asset at this point doesn't change whether there were taxes due from the estate of the person who left the property to you. If your total estate is greater than $1 million, you should consult with an estate planning attorney about options for your estate to avoid taxes (and probate) at your death. (The estate tax exemption is $5 million this year, but that may or may not be extended beyond this year.)

Always remember that adding any co-owner reduces your control of the real estate and should only be done, if at all, after careful consideration of the potential consequences.

This answer is for informational purposes only and should not be considered specific legal advice, nor does it... more
James P. Frederick

James P. Frederick

Estate Planning Attorney - Livonia, MI
Answered

In addition to Attorney Finch's answer, your adding someone to the title may cause gift tax issues during your lifetime. You should consult with an estate planning attorney and review your entire situation, in light of your inheritance, to determine your best course of action. Attorney Finch appears to be in your area. You might consider contacting her for a consultation. There is no reason you cannot do this, now, although you may need to adjust your estate plan, once you receive the property.

James Frederick

*** LEGAL DISCLAIMER I am licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan and have offices in Wayne and... more

Related Topics

Estate planning

Estate planning refers to the process in which you decide and document what happens to your assets after you die, by making things like wills or trusts.

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Estate tax

The estate tax is a tax on property transferred from a deceased person's estate. It only applies to any value of the estate over a certain limit set by law.

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