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Inter Vivos Gifts

Inter vivos is Latin for "between living persons" so that an inter vivos gift is one given during the lifetime of the donor.  Inter vivos gifts (including estate property) are not subject to probate taxes since they are not part of the donor's estate at death.  However, gifts that exceed $11,000 per year are subject to income taxes if they are made to someone other than a spouse or qualified charity.  The actual value of the gifted property is calculated at the time of the transfer.

Inter vivos gifts are an attractive estate planning tool because they avoid probate taxes. However, a potential donor should be aware that such gifts are not revocable.  An attempt to exert control over gifted property or derive a benefit from it may result in disallowing the tax-exempt nature of the gift, thus endangering the legal status of the transfer and making it susceptible to tax.

How Can an Inter Vivos Gift Be Made?

For a valid inter vivos transfer all of the follow must happen:

Should I Consult an Estate Planning Lawyer?

An inter vivos gift is not revocable and is not taxable, therefore consultation with an estate planning attorney is recommended to insure adequate evidence of each of the elements noted above. An experienced attorney can walk you through all the steps needed for a valid inter vivos gifting, and ensure your rights and obligations are fully explained.   

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Last Modified: 10-08-2014 12:56 PM PDT

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