I was working with a super family recently and the primary concerns of the family were two-fold. They wanted to avoid capital gains tax on the sale of a highly appreciated piece of property in California, and they also wanted to avoid the four probates (one for each spouse in Texas, and one for each spouse in California) that would have been required had all of these properties been in their name when they die.
The couple had been warned by their local CPA that selling the appreciated property while they were alive would cause the family to incur significant capital gains tax - he was right. So, the couple is renting the property and setting up an estate legal program so that when the first parent dies, the property will get a "step-up" in basis to the value of the property at the time that the first spouse dies. We are also setting up their estate legal program so that if the property is not sold after the first spouse dies, the entire property will get another step up in basis when the surviving spouse dies. We're talking big savings in state and federal taxes here.
We're also arranging the properties, and their publicly traded stocks, and their privately held business interests, in a way so that nothing will have to go through probate - in either state - when they pass away. Now, the children will avoid that expense and hassle that would have been required had they simply kept everything in their name.
If you own things that you would like to protect for yourself and your family, while avoiding taxes and government interference, and if you live in Texas, give our office a call, and we'll start a discussion about how simple it is to put your estate legal program in place.