Time is running out for those of you with substantial assets to use the gift tax exclusion which is now at $5,120,000 to make lifetime gifts to those in your family. To date in 2012, we have had several clients take advantage of this high exemption which we are not likely to see again. Often the best gift to use in such situations is one that is not only high in value but is also likely to appreciate and generates either little or no income. Gifting of such assets does not deprive the owner of any income and benefits his or her family in that a valuable asset is transferred to the next generation at no transfer cost. We recently had a client transfer non-incoming producing real estate which was valued at about $4,000,000 entirely free of gift tax. Unless the current law is changed, the transfer of this asset on or after January 1, 2013, would cause the family member gifting the asset to incur substantial gift tax.
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