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If your dad had worked at Emerson Electric for 35 years and turned a 0 monthly investment into .1 million (thanks to a blended average annual growth rate of 13.3% over that time period), then you might view those ,000 quarterly dividend checks as your father reaching from beyond the grave to continue to assist you financially.You might feel disloyal for breaking the chain and selling because you view that company stock might be considered an extension of your father still existing on this earth. In trying to make a determination about what to do with the stock, there are two initial questions worth asking: If you don’t need the money, then it’s not really a big deal to sweat the details of this topic."But if you hold onto the asset for 10 years and then sell it, there's room for a bigger gain and a bigger tax."One strategy to spread out the tax bill is to sell the appreciated assets over time, thereby reducing the one-time capital gains tax hit, according to Evenstad.For example, if you inherited 1,000 shares of a stock and the price has gone way up since you inherited it, selling all the shares will trigger a big tax bill in a single year.Most shares of stock are held in electronic form these days, but there are still quite a few paper stock certificates around.After a death in the family, ownership of the shares must be transferred to a beneficiary before they can be cashed in.
In either case you, as heir, can transfer ownership yourself.If, instead, Grandmother keeps the property until her death and it passes to her grandchild through her will, the basis automatically jumps to the fair market value as of her death (assume it is 0,000).If her grandchild later decides to sell the property for 0,000, he will pay capital gains tax only on 0,000 of appreciation (from 0,000 to 0,000).When you inherit stocks, bonds, or mutual funds—or cash, for that matter—you won't owe taxes on those assets.As long as the total value of the estate is under .45 million, the entire inheritance is exempt from federal estate taxes; above that, the estate pays the tax bill, not the heirs (this cut-off may differ in your state).
When it comes to paying capital gains taxes on inherited money, there's not much you can do to minimize the tab.