Inter-vivos Gifting: What Our Clients Need to Know

Inter-vivos Gifting: What Our Clients Need to Know

Inter vivos gifting should feature prominently in the estate plans for our middle class clients who may have accumulated considerable wealth. The old limits of gifting $10,000 (now $14,000) to each family member every year is not useful if the family’s goals are to transfer wealth without taxation and to protect assets from expenditure for nursing home expenses. Because of changes in the tax code, a person may gift $5.3 million in one transaction and still experience no federal gift tax liability. Kentucky has no gift tax. Middle-class folks won’t ever see the federal limit and should not think of gifting in terms of the annual gift limit. If a person is trying to preserve assets from nursing home expenditures, then large gifts that occur earlier than five years before a person’s need for nursing home assistance is the goal as such gifts will invoke no Medicaid penalty.  However, for clients who have done no planning, and now have a family member residing in a nursing home, inter vivos gifting can still be beneficial. 

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