What are the Best Sources of Inheritance Tax Advice?

Mary McMahon

Tax attorneys and accountants can provide the most reliable and helpful inheritance tax advice. Other potential sources of information include representatives of tax agencies and personal finance advisers. People may want to think about inheritance tax issues when preparing their wills or getting ready to act as executors of large estates, as it is often possible to take some mitigating steps beforehand to reduce tax burdens on heirs.

Businessman with a briefcase
Businessman with a briefcase

People who have a regular accountant or attorney may want to start there. This person will be familiar with a person's individual financial situation and the potential implications of an inheritance. They can provide helpful assistance with reducing tax liability, estate planning, and preparing for taxes in a year where a taxable inheritance will be an issue. For people who are developing wills, getting inheritance tax advice can prevent problems for heirs, as there may be simple measures people can take to prevent high taxes for people benefiting from the estate.

A personal finance adviser is another good resource for inheritance tax advice. These financial professionals are often familiar with tax matters by nature of their work, although they do not actively prepare taxes or practice tax law. They can help people find information about changes to tax law and any issues that may pertain to an inheritance and can offer advice on estate planning with the goal of maximizing benefits for descendants. They tend to be especially familiar with topics like handling retirement accounts, and can assist people who have inherited money with savings and planning to make sure they make the most of their inheritance.

Representatives of tax agencies can also be helpful. While government agents cannot offer inheritance tax advice, they can make people aware of all applicable laws and can point people to publications they may find helpful. It is important to be aware that government representatives do not have an interest in helping people find tax savings, so while their information will be accurate, it is not necessarily complete, and it is a good idea to check with an accountant for additional tips.

People seeking inheritance tax advice may be charged, depending on the complexity of their questions. Regular accountants and attorneys often allow people some wiggle room with free consultation on quick questions, but will charge an hourly rate for answering questions in great detail, assisting with estate planning, and related topics. The fees for the consultation should be less than the tax savings, making the consultation worthwhile.

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