Gifts from Retirement Plans at Death

 

Retirement-plan benefits often make an excellent choice for funding a testamentary charitable gift to Taylor. Not only will such a gift escape federal income tax, it will also avoid any potential federal estate tax. This combination of income taxes and estate taxes could result in a tax hit of more than 62% of the retirement-plan benefits.

If, for example, you have designated your children to be the beneficiaries of $100,000 of your retirement-plan benefits, and your estate is subject to federal estate taxes, your children could lose $40,000 to federal estate taxes and as much as an additional $22,200 to federal income taxes for a total reduction in benefits of $62,200. If, however, you designate Taylor as the beneficiary of that $100,000, the full amount will pass to us with no reduction in benefits.

 

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