Conveying farm property
I am a widow, 74, with no children and owner of 450 acres of good farmland. Its value has tripled in value since my husband's death in 1968. I would not like to think that our hard-earned property may be sold as auction by the government nine months after my death, because my two young nephew heirs could not raise the cash to pay the taxes. What alternatives are there for a person in my situation? -- M. S.
Insurance is the device used most often for delivering cash to pay estate taxes. Look at any current policies on your life. The beneficiary could be your estate to deliver cash for paying estate taxes. If more than one policy exists, you could consider giving one to your nephews. The death benefits would then be payable to them for a double benefit -- remove the cash from your estate total and provide cash for them to pay the inheritance taxes due when they inherit the property. You can also give an interest in the land to your nephews at the rate of $3,000 each per year. You might consider selling them an interest to put cash into your estate for paying estate taxes. Also recognize that a tax credit of $47,000 will offset federal estate taxes on your land and other property up to $175,625. A first step is to determine the likely tax liability this year and in succeeding years bas ed on a projected forecast of your farm's worth.