SHRINKING GIFTS

Physician's Money Digest, March31 2003, Volume 10, Issue 6

During the stock market's bullrun, many parents and grandparentslavished gifts of cash and stockon their loved ones, often up to thegift tax threshold of $11,000 pergift. Gifts at that level don't triggerany gift tax and the money isremoved from the giver's estate,potentially lowering any estate taxesthat may be due. Some offspring ofthe well-to-do may find the well hasrun dry, however, falling victim tothe relentless bear market and thecontinuing debate about the fate ofthe estate tax. With the estate taxthreshold already jacked up to $1million from $650,000, and serioustalk about scrapping the tax altogether,fewer affluent taxpayers arefeeling the need to unload cash nowto avoid the death tax later.