If I sign my assets over to my children now, will they have to claim as income and be taxed?

by R. Dennison Keller, Lawyer Referral Service Panelist

If you give assets to your children, it will not be income to them.  It is a gift.  The gift will not be taxable per se unless the gift exceeds $14,000 and the giver has already given away $5.3 million during his/her lifetime.  Depending on the amount of the gift, the giver may have to file a gift tax return. Plus, if you give away an asset that has appreciated substantially during a lifetime, you may lose the step-up in tax basis and the recipient will likely have to pay a higher tax if he/she sells it in the future than if the recipient received it after death.

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