When you die in Oregon, your beneficiaries will receive your estate according to the stipulations in your will. If everything goes as planned, future generations can use the assets that you accumulated during your lifetime. There’s just one hitch: your beneficiaries might have to pay estate taxes.
How can you reduce estate taxes as much as possible?
During the estate planning process, many people write a will without thinking about the tax ramifications. Depending on the value of your estate, your loved ones might have to pay thousands of dollars in federal estate taxes after your death. This is taken out of the estate itself, shrinking the inheritance that your loved ones will receive.
Fortunately, an estate planning attorney could help you reduce the estate taxes as much as possible. For example, if you have a modest home in a high-income neighborhood, your house might be valued more than it’s actually worth. This forces your loved ones to pay extra taxes. You could ask the government to value your property at its “actual use” in qualifying situations.
You could also give your family members a portion of your assets while you’re still alive. You’ll have to be careful not to give away anything that you still need–for example, don’t sign your house away when you’re still living in it. But you can give loved ones up to $15,000 in gifts each year per recipient without your having to pay a gift tax. If you’re married, you and your spouse can collectively give away up to $30,000 each year per recipient.