Kiplinger Article: Should I Start Gifting Money (or Even My House) to My Kids?

As for giving away your money while you’re still alive to see it go to the ones you love, there are pros and cons to think about. But when it comes to your house, giving that away is probably a really bad idea.

When thinking about estate planning, inevitably comes the question of where will I leave my assets when I’m gone? Once you’ve decided who gets what, who will be your executor/executrix and who will be your power of attorney or trustee comes a deeper question: Would I rather leave my assets to them now or when I’m gone?

While most people plan for where their assets go when they’re gone, not as many have thought about giving away some of those assets while they are still alive. Today I thought we’d explore the pros and cons of giving away your assets while you’re still alive.

Whether you should give away some of your assets today depends largely on what type of asset it is and, of course, whether you may need those assets in the future. I always suggest starting with a financial plan to determine how much of your assets you will likely need for yourself in retirement. Future unknown expenses, such as health care or possibly long-term care, can derail even the best of plans. Once we know that we have covered all the possible health care issues, then we can best determine what you can safely give away without it causing you harm in the future.

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