House to give away

Passing on your home to your descendants while they are still alive has advantages. You can save taxes or make sure that the house gets into the hands you want. Nevertheless, a donation should be carefully considered.

Think about tomorrow today: if you bequeath your house to your children while you're still alive, you have to think about a number of things.

HHouses and apartments are becoming more and more valuable in times of rising purchase prices. Anyone who owns a property in large cities such as Hamburg, Frankfurt or Munich has to bequeath large sums of money that, for the wise, equate to winning the lottery. According to a study by the Allensbach Institute for Demoscopy, more than half of the bequests that will pass from one generation to the next in Germany in the next few years also contain real estate. If you want to pass on your home to your descendants, you should think early on whether you want to bequeath it or give it away during your lifetime. Because there are some advantages that make a gift attractive.

Probably the most important advantage are tax savings: “In principle, gifts and inheritance are taxed the same, but with high assets it is worth making a gift, especially because of the tax exemptions,” explains Udo Völlings, specialist lawyer for family law from Cologne. Spouses or registered partners can inherit or receive a property up to a value of 500,000 euros without having to pay taxes on it. For children, the tax exemption is 400,000 euros, for grandchildren 200,000 euros and for everyone else 20,000 euros – regardless of whether it is your nephew, sister, partner you are not married to, or your neighbor.