Can you give a gift to yourself to avoid estate tax?

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in Small Business Tax

Q. I have power of attorney over my mother’s affairs. Can I arrange a gift to myself to avoid estate tax? Anonymous, Bayville, N.Y.

A. Not likely. As the power of attorney for your mother, you have the ability to act in her best interests. But you’re generally not permitted to transfer any of the money, personal property or real estate to yourself, unless the power of attorney includes specific authority to do so. If your mother is still competent, however, she may authorize such gifts.

Tip: Coordinate the various aspects of your mother’s ­estate plan with a tax pro.

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