How much can be legally gifted annually from a parent or an estate, to family members?

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How much can be legally gifted annually from a parent or an estate, to family members?

Asked on January 2, 2013 under Estate Planning, Alabama

Answers:

Catherine Blackburn / Blackburn Law Firm

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

I don't understand your question.  There are no legal limits on what one person can give to another.  Having said that, there may be tax on the gift and there may be consequences to the giver.

Currently (in 2013), a person can give $14,000 to another without filing a gift tax return.  Even if a gift tax return is required, the new "fiscal cliff" legislation will continue the $5million per person lifetime gift and estate tax exemption.  This means you can give $5million in your lifetime to others via gifts and estates without paying any tax.  If this is a concern, I suggest you consult a tax accountant or tax attorney to advise you.

I also said there may be consequences to giving money and assets away.  This arises when seniors give assets away and then apply for Medicaid benefits in a nursing home.  There is a 5 year look-back period for Medicaid benefits in nursing homes.  If a senior applicant gave away assets within 5 years of applying for Medicaid, this could delay or deny their ability to receive Medicaid benefits.  If this is a consideration, I suggest you consult an elder law attorney in your area to advise you.


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