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MZ9
Level 1

My Dad is the beneficiary of my Mom's life insurance policy of $125,000. Can he give me the money in one lump sum and not pay the gift taxes on it?

My mom was going to change the beneficiary after her and my Dad got divorced but she didn't do that before she died. How can my Dad get around the gift tax and give me the whole life insurance money? This will be for the 2016 tax year.

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Accepted Solutions
Level 20

My Dad is the beneficiary of my Mom's life insurance policy of $125,000. Can he give me the money in one lump sum and not pay the gift taxes on it?

"Gift Tax" is somewhat of a misnomer.  Even though a gift tax return may be required, very few people ever actually pay federal gift tax. The purpose of the gift tax return is usually only to document a reduction in the allowable estate tax exemption.
See 
https://turbotax.intuit.com/tax-tools/tax-tips/Tax-Planning-and-Checklists/The-Gift-Tax-Made-Simple/...

3 Replies
Level 20

My Dad is the beneficiary of my Mom's life insurance policy of $125,000. Can he give me the money in one lump sum and not pay the gift taxes on it?

No he cannot avoid the gift tax if it is given in one piece .... so if he doesn't want to file a gift tax return ( in which he probably won't own anything  anyway )  then ....

Max gift per year per person is currently $14K  so ...  He can give you $14K per year and $14K to your spouse & $14K to each child you have.  And repeat each tax year until the $125 is dispersed.
Level 12

My Dad is the beneficiary of my Mom's life insurance policy of $125,000. Can he give me the money in one lump sum and not pay the gift taxes on it?

Although he would need to file a Gift Tax return, he would not actually pay any Gift Tax unless he has given away over $5,000,000 in his lifetime.
Level 20

My Dad is the beneficiary of my Mom's life insurance policy of $125,000. Can he give me the money in one lump sum and not pay the gift taxes on it?

"Gift Tax" is somewhat of a misnomer.  Even though a gift tax return may be required, very few people ever actually pay federal gift tax. The purpose of the gift tax return is usually only to document a reduction in the allowable estate tax exemption.
See 
https://turbotax.intuit.com/tax-tools/tax-tips/Tax-Planning-and-Checklists/The-Gift-Tax-Made-Simple/...