Level 15

Investors & landlords

"Is it better to sell investments through an estate and have the estate pay any taxes...?"

Per Section 1014(b) of the Internal Revenue Code, the investments get a stepped up basis (to the fair market value on the date of death) so that should ameliorate the tax hit if the investments are sold shortly after the death of the decedent.

Regardless, since the tax rates for estates are ridiculously compressed, it is typically better, from a taxation standpoint, to distribute income (and appreciated assets with embedded capital gains) to the beneficiaries, if possible.

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