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Government intervention when it comes to savings/wealth

I wanted to hear your thoughts about how leaving the most amount of money/assets to your children without the gov't intervention...taxes and such?  I think that I'll probably be getting sometype of lawyer if I ever get to have this problem and I wanted to hear how some of you have/are planning on getting around this issue in the U.S.
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vulture71
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vulture71
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R3C0NCommented:
Vulture71,

Here is a article that may inform you more

 http://wills.about.com/od/understandingestatetaxes/qt/Overview-Of-2011-And-2012-Estate-Tax-Laws.htm

"My secretary pays more tax than I do"
The Oracle of Omaha....Warren Buffet
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tliottaCommented:
If you're in the USA, what state? Unless you're expecting to pass on over $5million, you can (currently) mostly ignore federal inheritance taxes. (Personally, I'm not expecting to leave quite that much behind.)

Other than federal, different states can have some different rates. At $5million, think of as much as 20% tax though probably less.

If you're going to leave enough behind to make a difference, you should start immediately giving annual gifts up to the general $10k non-taxable limit to each child. Also, create a trust (I like Edward Jones) and begin investments through it.

Lots of things can be done to transfer ownership of assets as years go by. Your state will be the most important element that needs to be known.

Tom
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aburrCommented:
The easiest way is to write the kid a check.
The government will say (and take) nothing as long as it is for an amount smaller than any amount I will have to deal with. Ask the IRS what that amount is in your case.
One can also set up trust funds but that usually requires a lawyer with some tax knowledge.
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aburrCommented:
The max that can be given tax free in a year now is $13000
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tliottaCommented:
It's $13k now? Even better. And I'll emphasize "in a year". It can be done each year for each child. It doesn't take many years or many offspring to transfer more than I'm able.

As for "trust and lawyer", it's not technically required. But any solid establishment of estate distribution should involve a lawyer no matter what. When an estate reaches a size that is significant enough to be a concern, legal assistance is strongly advised. The cost is small compared to the desired benefits (IMO).

Tom
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