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Greetings, Pcoppock, and welcome. You asked:

<<Along the same thread, my parents came into a large sum of money. They are well off now and want me to tell them the best way to invest it for estate purposes. They are setting up a living trust for the estate, but now they are asking about Annuities and Variable Annuities.

Other than telling them so send me the money, :) What's the "best" way to grow the value? >>

For the Foolish take on annuities, see my musings in post 11725 on this board at For estate planning purposes, they are definitely not the product of choice. If your folks are interested in growing this cash to pass on to their heirs with the least amount of taxation, then IMHO a sound long-term buy and hold strategy for stocks will fill the bill nicely. It will have minimal income tax ramifications to them. While the value of such a portfolio will be counted as part of their estate at death (and hence subject to estate taxation), their heirs will receive those assets at market value. The shares could be sold immediately with no income tax impact to those heirs. If sold at a later date, gain or loss would be based on the market value at the time the heirs received those shares. For more information on some long-term strategies your folks could use, check out our portfolio area at

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