Got family heirlooms? Consider passing them to your kids as holiday or birthday gifts, says Kelly Gill, an estate lawyer at Belcher Fitzgerald in Boston. The exception? Anything that has appreciated greatly in value while you've owned it, such as an artwork or a vintage sports car. If you give away such a treasure while you're living, the recipient will owe capital gains tax if he or she later sells it. But the capital gains clock starts over at zero when it's inherited after you're gone.
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