If you are interested in gifting stocks, bonds, money, real estate, business interests or other assets to one or more children or grandchildren then you are on the right page. The rules about gifting change just about every year.
Here is the new information. However, gifting can be more complicated than you might think. For example, there are different rules for gift taxes than there are for the nursing home rules under Medicaid. So use the information here as a guide and get good information from an estate and gift tax adviser based on your personal and specific information.
Gifting in 2019:
Annual gift tax exclusion - inflation adjusted to $15,000.00 per person. This amount can be given to a child, grandchild and or their spouses.
Furthermore, if you are married, each spouse can gift this amount to each desired recipient.
This means that a married couple can together gift $30,000.000 per year.
If one spouse has greater assets be sure to ask your adviser about split gifts and whether or not you need to file a 709 gift tax return.
Lifetime Exclusion (unified credit): In addition to the annual gift tax exclusion, each person now also has a $11.4 million dollar lifetime credit which can be used to make gifts to children and grandchildren and/or their spouses.
You will be required to file a 709 gift tax return when making gifts larger than the $15,000.00 per year annual gift tax amount but you can use your lifetime credit.
Note: Gifts of hard to value assets such as real estate or business interests may require not only a gift tax return but an appraisal.
If you are considering a lifetime gift, you may require the advice of legal counsel.
However, gifting can radically reduce taxes in certain circumstances and may also need to be coordinated with changes in your wills, trusts, and beneficiary designations. The advice of counsel can therefore be both valuable and can save you and your heirs from later problems that might cost much more to correct.
David M. Frees III, JD