Means of protecting inheritance

Call a professional estate planner such as Estate Street Partners if you wish to know more about how to reduce your estate tax, eliminate your inheritance tax, possibly eliminate some of your income tax and learn how to strategize your money and assets to be in compliance with the IRS and federal and state-specific regulations. Estate planning can be complex and taking the route of doing it yourself can lead to severe financial penalties.


Inheritance tax information can be obtained by seeking the services of a knowledgeable estate planner. Since each state differs in the amount taxed to heirs, an estate planner will be able to provide accurate information involving up-to-date tax laws and ways to protect assets.

One of the more common means of protecting inheritance from taxes is to place money into trusts and elect a trustee to transfer the property to your beneficiaries upon your death. Once money has been allocated into a trust it is removed from you listed estate and upon your death it will be distributed to your heirs free from estate and inheritance taxes.

Some people also choose to give their money in the form of gifts to organizations and establish a charitable gift annuity. Receiving money from an annuity protects your heirs from paying any inheritance tax, although they may still be responsible for an early withdrawal penalty from the IRS. Failure to consult with an advisor could result in unnecessarily high taxes for your heirs. Please seek professional advice on these important financial matters.

Start selling your own assets to the trust of your family over a period of years and slowly forgive your debts from the trust by using the notarised and signed papers.

Give something to friends or family members. A friend or a family member who is not your spouse or civil partner, so that you no longer get any benefit from it. It won’t be taken into account when calculating the Inheritance Tax liability when you die.

Strict rules apply to disclaimers of inheritance in Germany:

– Under German law an inheritance must be disclaimed explicitly and in writing
– Disclaimers of inheritance must be notarized, your signature alone is not sufficient.
– If you are in the United States and want to disclaim an inheritance in Germany you have to do so at a German Consulate.
– Acknowledgement by a US notary public is not sufficient. In Germany a notary (“Notar”) is a lawyer, not just a professional witness.
– If you are not domiciled in Germany, or if you are abroad at the time of death, the inheritance can only be disclaimed within six months.
– The six month period starts once you have knowledge of both the passing and being an heir.
– It is your responsibility to file the disclaimer with the proper Probate Court in Germany within this period.

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