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JAFO asks:

<<Do you not think that your questions ignores the FET and estate planning issues related to lifetime gifts (and getting all future appreciation out of the estate) versus keeping the assets in the estate and receiving the stepped-up basis? IMO, the issue is more complicated than your statement would imply for people who have FET concerns.>>

Certainly they could. There are many issues that come into play. Keeping rather than gifting the account could definitely aggravate rather than help for the very wealthy whose estates will be affected by FET. It's literally impossible to say without knowing the specific situation of both the donor and the recipient. OTOH if there's even just a remote possibility a person may need the cash at some point in the future, then almost certainly it makes sense not to gift it away. Who knows for sure until one prforms a detailed analysis germane to the specific circumstances of the case. My response is appropriate for most situations, but not the distinct minority that will have FET concerns. I would hope the latter are aware of that problem and have sought appropriate advice to alleviate the tax man's bite.

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