Estate Planning – 7 Keys to Success – Avoid Falling into Major Tax Traps

Key 2: Avoid Falling Into Major Tax Traps

Do you know the biggest tax mistake you can make? Neither did Karl, a 72-year-old mechanic who was set to undergo open-heart surgery.

Karl told his lawyer to register his children as joint owners on the title to his condo.

“Was this the best thing to do?” he asked his lawyer after the operation.

What do you think? I’ll give you my answer in a moment.

Many People Jump onto Bandwagons

People read a newspaper article or talk to someone in a bank about how to avoid probate and suddenly …

They’re on their lawyer’s doorstep, insisting that their property be transferred into joint ownership with their children.


Everyone Wants to Avoid Probate

Don’t jump on this bandwagon. Probate taxes are not the biggest tax problem for which you need advice.

Are you thinking of putting your child on the title to your home?
Watch out!

You should not transfer property into joint ownership, even with your children, without independent legal advice.

This means getting advice from your own lawyer, not your children’s lawyers. You should be aware of the many dangers of joint ownership. Using joint ownership as a way to avoid probate taxes can mean you lose control over your property.

Recent Court Decisions Confirm the Dangers

Even joint ownership will not prevent bitter and costly legal battles among your children.

Like Karl, you may be disappointed to learn that a child’s creditors can also lay claim to jointly owned assets.

Probably the last thing you want to do is to buy back your own property from your child’s creditor or partner.

The biggest issue with joint ownership is the income tax problems that can crop up when you transfer property that is subject to capital gains tax.

Most people take a piecemeal approach to estate planning. But you need to see the big picture. Consider the income tax consequences when you transfer assets into joint ownership.

There are some easy tax-saving moves you can make to reduce your tax bills.

Discover the 6 dangers of joint ownership that start with the letter “D” in Breakthrough Estate Planning.

Now let’s talk about wills.

To read all the keys now, download Estate Planning: 7 Keys to Success.

Learn more about making a will with Breakthrough Estate Planning.