Your parents may have the best of intentions when passing along assets to you after they pass away, but the truth is that by making planning considerations during the course of their life time, they are actually setting their beneficiaries or children up for much better success. This is primarily because of what is known as the stepped-up basis. There is a major difference between gifted and inherited assets and how you choose to pass these on to your loved ones can make things much easier for them.
If your loved ones choose to gift something to you over the course of their life time, you will have the benefit of paying same capital gains taxes that they would have if they were to sell those assets today. However, if they gifted to you upon death, you may be responsible for a range of different taxes and will have to pay a much higher amount due to these stepped-up basis.
The tax basis of any asset that is held until a person’s death is officially stepped up to fair market value, which means that setting aside time to speak with an experienced estate planning attorney can help you to avoid many of the most common problems and challenges surrounding the very process of passing things on to your loved ones.