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Estate planning: Bypass the ‘middleman’

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in Small Business Tax,Small Business Tax Deduction Strategies

Q. My father intended to change his will to leave more of his estate to his grandchildren. But he died before doing it. Can we automatically pass the money to them? J.A.R., Albany, N.Y.

A. No, but you can “disclaim” part or all of the inheritance. Assuming the grandchildren have been designated as the contingent beneficiaries in your father’s will, the property will then bypass you and go directly to your kids. To be effective, a beneficiary must make the disclaimer within nine months of the decedent’s death and before the property has been received.

Tip: Using a disclaimer in this situation could cause generation-skipping tax (GST) consequences for large transfers. Consult an estate-planning pro.

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