Transferring Assets to the Next Generation – With the current estate tax exemption at $15.8 million per person, you might be asking, do I transfer the property now or wait?
It is generally advised to make gifts of assets with a high tax basis and retain assets that have been significantly appreciated. Retaining appreciated assets until death will result in those assets being included in the taxable estate and receiving the next step up on a tax basis. This may then reduce the capital gains tax that will be due if the assets are sold.
Also, specific techniques such as a sale of assets to a grantor trust in exchange for a note can be useful to transfer appreciated assets while substantially leveraging the gift and GSTT exemptions.