Equal Shares for Heirs? Not Unless You Take Taxes into Account

Unless your estate plan takes your beneficiaries' own finances into account, you could be shortchanging some thousands of dollars ... and throwing money away unnecessarily on taxes.

(Image credit: (C)2012 James Shearman ((C)2012 James Shearman (Photographer) - [None])

If you’re like a lot of the people I help, you probably have an estate plan that distributes assets equally between family members. On its face, it seems like the right, fair thing to do — if you have three kids, you leave them each one third. Unfortunately, the outcome might not be what you intended, unless each of your children pays the same marginal tax rate, which is an unlikely scenario.

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Brian Vnak, CFP, CPA
Vice President, Integrated Advice, Integrated Advice, Wealth Enhancement Group

Brian Vnak is Vice President, Wealth Enhancement Group, advising clients on income, gift, trust and estate tax issues.