Tax Guru – Ker$tetter Letter

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Gifts made after death?

Posted by taxguru on October 27, 2008

Q:

Subject:  gifting

In the year of death can the surviving spouse make a $24000 gift to her daughter after her husband has passed away? She gets to claim him as an exemption in 2008 even though he died Jan 2008.Can she still use his annual gift exclusion to make gifts in 2008 after his date of death?

  

A:

What you are proposing is not allowed.  Once a person passes away, s/he can no longer make gifts or use the Gift Splitting option between spouses. Any transfers of assets owned by the deceased will need to be treated as a distribution of estate assets.

Even though the widow can’t exclude the full $24,000 gift, the additional $12,000 can still be given tax free as part of her one million dollar lifetime exclusion, which may or may not make sense depending on the potential size of her taxable estate.

A qualified professional tax advisor should be consulted to work out the most sensible strategy.

Good luck.  I hope this helps.

Kerry Kerstetter  

 

 

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