Lifetime Gifts vs Inheritance: Which Is Better?

If you are ready to modify or create your estate plan, your first thoughts may revolve around wills and trusts. These are the most common tools that people use to pass assets onto loved ones. These are not the only estate planning tools, however. It is important that you have an estate plan, but you may also want to think about lifetime gifting instead of an inheritance.

Save on Estate Taxes

If you have a large estate, you probably think about the estate taxes that your loved ones may have to pay after you die. If you transfer property to another person, you will pay less in taxes. Federal gift taxes are cheaper than estate taxes that occur after you die. Additionally, you are the one who pays the gift taxes, rather than your loved ones paying on the assets.

Enjoy the Simplicity

When it comes to estate planning, most people want to remain as simple as possible. Even those who have more complicated estates do not want it to be more complicated than it already is. When you give a gift, it is a lot more simple than having to deal with probate or trusts after you die. When you transfer your assets while you are still alive, it is a far more simple process. Transferring property before you die is easy, whereas when you die, it becomes a longer process and one that is more expensive.

Enjoy the Gifting

Gifting can be extremely fulfilling. After all, who wouldn’t want to see the look of joy on their loved one’s faces when they receive a gift? Maybe you helped your loved one buy his or her first home or perhaps you helped him or her pay off student loan debt. Of course your loved ones would be grateful for any inheritance or assets that they receive after you die, but you can’t deny that experiencing that gratitude and being there to see what they do with the gift could be better.

When it comes to passing your assets to your loved ones, there is nothing wrong with gifting while you are still alive. In fact, sometimes lifetime gifting can be better than an inheritance. Your loved ones will jump through less legal hoops after you pass and you’ll be able to see them receive the gifts that you have for them. Plan your appointment with an estate planning attorney, like an estate planning attorney, to ensure that your plan is in good shape.