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You might want to post this question on the Inheritance Strategies board for a better explanation of the rules. But I believe the quick answer is No. Your in-laws depositing money in a joint account would not be a gift unless your husband actually withdraws the money. As long as only they make deposits and withdrawals, the money is theirs for purposes of paying tax on the interest, and it's part of their estate when they die.

It all depends on the state. I seem to recall reading somewhere that NY may consider the gift to have been made as soon as the additional name is placed on the account even if the son never withdraws a dime.

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