10 Death Tax Myths


I need to hire a lawyer to handle death tax issues

Any tax law can be complex and confusing. Many people who stand to leave behind a sizeable estate protect their wealth by seeking the advice of a tax attorney or accountant familiar with estate and inheritance tax issues. While this is a smart financial move if you don't have the time or resources to investigate tax law on your own, there are resources available that can help you complete some -- if not all -- of the tax-planning steps you should take to protect your estate from being overtaxed.

The IRS makes publicly available all of the tax filing forms you would need to manage estate or inheritance taxes [source: IRS]. The agency also provides helpful brochures on the basics of estate and inheritance tax planning [source: IRS].

Even if you plan to hire an attorney or accountant to help you, you'd be wise to do some basic research to familiarize yourself with the taxes. At the very least, you need to determine if your estate will exceed the lifetime exemption amounts. This can help you ensure that the tax professional who helps you does not over-prepare your tax plan (and possibly charge you for more services than you need) [source: Money-Zine.com].