Should the heirs or the estate pay the tax?
Friday, February 18th, 2005
Categorized as: Inheriting and bequeathing US Savings Bonds
My brother and I inherited a large sum of E and EE bonds upon my mother’s death. Does your book clearly explain if it would be more beneficial from a tax standpoint to have the estate redeem the bonds and pay the income taxes, or for me and my brother to redeem the bonds and pay the taxes?
Like any book, Savings Bond Advisor covers issues in a general way and shows you how to do the analysis. But there’s no single right answer to this question, so the book can’t do the analysis for you.
You’ll have to look at your mother’s marginal tax rate as compared to yours and your brother’s. I suspect it will work best to have the estate cash some of the bonds, but pass most of them to you and your brother, which you eventually cash over several years.
You and your brother are exactly the kind of people I wrote the book for. There are ways to reduce your taxes and get the most value out of the bonds.
Other than the education deduction, you’re in a position to be surprised by every tax issue the book covers: the deferred-tax time bomb, the double-taxation trap, and the state tax deduction. You could also be hurt by the hidden redemption penalty.
I encourgage you to take a look at the book. Before you redeem the bonds you need to understand why they’re not as frumpy an investment as they appear to be.