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Financial Answer Center

Estate and Gift Taxes

Introduction

There is an old expression that says, "You can't take it with you." One of the reasons that expression is true has to do with your federal and state governments. If you are lucky enough to have a large estate, one of the biggest transfers at your death may be to the tax collector. You can discuss ways to reduce these taxes with a qualified estate planner. This may include use of trusts as well as conveying or gifting certain assets.

As important as it is to reduce taxes, these strategies should never come before having your assets go to satisfy your other desires. It is all right if you want to set up your estate in such a way that results in paying more tax than you might otherwise have to, yet allow you and your spouse complete control of your assets or to benefit someone in particular. No matter what anyone tells you, it is your money.

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