Klenk Law

As executor, can I donate estate assets for a charitable deduction?

Posted on Tue Sep 8, 2015, on Probate and Estate Administration

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: My mother died and I was named Executor of her estate. The estate is divided equally between myself and my brother and sister. She had so many things in her house that none of us want. Can I give these to charity and then take a deduction on the Pennsylvania Inheritance Tax return?

If I have the facts correct, all assets are equally divided between you three siblings. This includes all personal property. If so, then the right to collect the property is with the children and the Commonwealth’s Inheritance Tax is due on the fair market value of those things. The tax for children is 4.5%.

The only way that this property could go to charity and not be taxed would be if your mother had said, in her Will, that the assets go to charity. Because she said they pass to children, you have to pay the tax. But, if you transfer the assets to the charity then your siblings and you can take a charitable deduction on your own income taxes, which will likely save you more money. The gift is made by you three, so the deduction is the same as if you took things from your own house and gave them as a gift.

If you have any other questions about Probate or the Pennsylvania Inheritance Tax, feel free to contact our office for a free consultation.

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Chester County, Pennsylvania

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