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Abstract

Dividing assets among the heirs after death rarely poses a tax problem although there may be hurt feelings for years among those who get less than a proportionate share of the estate. The problems, if they develop in dividing up the assets after death, usually arise where the parents left undivided interests in assets, particularly if the assets are of unequal value and an equal division is difficult or impossible to achieve. That could occur with one-of-a-kind personal property items or of farmland with widely varying productivity and value. Unfortunately, none of the alternatives will assure that all parties will be completely satisfied. However, some of the options score higher than others. With careful pre-death planning the level of satisfaction can be elevated significantly.

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