What is a gift?


N

NadCixelsyd

As I approach my sixties, it's time to give some $$$ to my children.
All my children are adults and not my dependants. I want to keep it
under $12k per year (each, from my wife and me) to avoid filing. I'm
looking for creative ways to avoid using my unified credit.

One child wants to go to medical school. I know that if I pay the
school directly, that doesn't count as a gift to the child. (That
pretty much shoots her inheritance)

If I decide to throw a $22000 party and invite guests chosen by my
daughter, and, by coincidence, my daughter happens to get married just
before the party starts, is that my party or hers?

If my son wants to buy a house, can I purchase an equity interest
which would be forgiven if/when I die? In lieu of cash, can I give my
son $12000 in equity (at FMV) each year until he owns it all?

If I take all my children on a vacation to Hawaii, is that a gift?
It's for my benefit as well as theirs. If I had given them cash, they
probably would not have used it on a vacation.
 
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P

Phil Marti

NadCixelsyd said:
As I approach my sixties, it's time to give some $$$ to my children.
It's your money, but....

Given my experience with my late parents, who went through assets like
Sherman through Georgia in their final years, make sure that you keep what
you and your spouse will need before your dirt naps. Long-term care is
frightfully expensive.
All my children are adults and not my dependants. I want to keep it
under $12k per year (each, from my wife and me) to avoid filing. I'm
looking for creative ways to avoid using my unified credit.

One child wants to go to medical school. I know that if I pay the
school directly, that doesn't count as a gift to the child. (That
pretty much shoots her inheritance)
Correct, but IIRC the exception applies only to tuition.
If I decide to throw a $22000 party and invite guests chosen by my
daughter, and, by coincidence, my daughter happens to get married just
before the party starts, is that my party or hers?
You can't be that much younger than I, so dig into your memory of the past,
when the bride's parents gave the party. What you describe isn't creative,
it's traditional, and it's your party. (Spending $22,000 when cake, nuts,
mints, punch, coffee and tea in the church parlor after the ceremony will do
nicely brings us back to "it's your money.")
If my son wants to buy a house, can I purchase an equity interest
which would be forgiven if/when I die? In lieu of cash, can I give my
son $12000 in equity (at FMV) each year until he owns it all?
If they've printed a book "Estate Planning for Dummies" they got their
target audience described perfectly. This is not a DIY project, and there
are horror stories aplenty of people who tried to save a few bucks and wound
up with a mess. Yes, there are many creative schemes for avoiding estate
tax. Pay some money for professional help.
If I take all my children on a vacation to Hawaii, is that a gift?
Yes.
 
S

Seth

:

Correct, but IIRC the exception applies only to tuition.
Medical bills too, I thought.

Maybe; depends on the terms of the forgiveness.

Yes. But you'll need an appraisal every year.
Pay some money for professional help.
Well worth it.
Maybe. For whose benefit are they travelling?

Seth
 
G

Gil Faver

Seth said:
Medical bills too, I thought.


Maybe; depends on the terms of the forgiveness.


Yes. But you'll need an appraisal every year.
every other year. Get an appraisal in December, and make that year's gift
in December, and the following year's gift in January.
 
J

joetaxpayer

NadCixelsyd said:
If my son wants to buy a house, can I purchase an equity interest
which would be forgiven if/when I die? In lieu of cash, can I give my
son $12000 in equity (at FMV) each year until he owns it all?
Does your son (and his wife, if married) qualify for their own mortgage?
If so, why not just gift the money, $24K if he's single, $48K if
married, and let him pay the mortgage down? It's already september next
week, if you gift $48K this year and $48K Jan 1, there's $96K he can use
as a downpayment.

Also - the student - You can gift ahead, 5 yrs (i.e. $60K from you, and
$60K from your wife) into a 529 account for your Dr Daughter. Don't know
if that helps your planning, but it's an option.

Joe
www.blog.joetaxpayer.com
 
D

Dick Adams

It's your money, but....

Given my experience with my late parents, who went through
assets like Sherman through Georgia in their final years,
make sure that you keep what you and your spouse will need
before your dirt naps. Long-term care is frightfully expensive.
Very good advice.

As you approach your sixties is NOT the time to be
unloading your assets upon your children unless you
have a few million - in which case I am available
for adoption.

My father had a disabling heart attack at 60 and
died at 86. My mother is still going strong at
88 - spending my inheritance. ;)

I know a man who unloaded over $2 million on his
children through the 90's, lost a lot more than
that in the dot-com-bust, and is now 68, in
perfect health, and hasn't taken a vacation in
the last two years because he is watching his
money.

Dick
 
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D

Dick Adams

Keep in mind that the estate tax may, or may not,
disappear depending on Congress in, I believe, 2010.

Dick
 
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S

Stuart Bronstein

NadCixelsyd said:
As I approach my sixties, it's time to give some $$$ to my
children. All my children are adults and not my dependants. I
want to keep it under $12k per year (each, from my wife and me) to
avoid filing. I'm looking for creative ways to avoid using my
unified credit.
The other answers you have received are excellent and you should take
heed. There is one point that has not been addressed, though.

If you live in a community property state, you and your wife can give
joint gifts of up $24,000 without worrying too much about where the
money came from. However if you don't, you have to be a little more
careful that the gifts come from each of you separately, or that they
can be traced to your separate funds, each part of which is within the
annual exemption amount.

If most of the money legally belongs to you, for example, you and your
wife can still jointly give $24,000 per person per year without and
qualify for the annual exemption. However you are also required to
file a gift tax return and elect to "split" the gift.

Stu
 

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