Nothing is certain but death and taxes, right? And though we can't skirt the certainty of death, we can at least reduce the certainty of our taxes. For those fortunate enough to have an "estate tax problem," there is much that can be done to reduce the severity of that problem.
Annual gifting is one of the easiest methods. We regularly discuss with our clients the mechanics of making annual exclusion gifts, which are those gift that do not reduce the amount of the unified gift and estate tax exclusion amount ($5.25M in 2014) and in some cases do not necessitate the filing of a gift tax return (Form 706).
Here is a recent article on annual gifting in the Wall Street Journal that is a helpful synopsis for more routine annual cash gifting. (Click on "Source" above to view if you have a WSJ subscription.)
The suggestions are particularly helpful for maximizing cash gifts to adult children and funding the education of grandchildren. Making gifts to a trust for the benefit of a minor is more complicated and requires proper planning. For advice on how to set up such a trust and have the gifts qualify for the annual exclusion, please contact us for a consultation.