It's better to give than to receive and Estate Tax bill.
Many assets can be gifted during your lifetime to others without any fear of Gift Taxes. You may gift the annual exclusion amount to an individual or entity without any Gift Tax owed. The present annual exclusion amount is $14,000.00. This means if you gifted to two other individuals, you could gift $14,000.00 to each, or $28,000.00 total, without incurring a Gift Tax.
If you are married, you and your spouse can engage in split gifting. This means spouses combined can provide a total of $28,000.00 to an individual or entity without a Gift Tax owed. If spouses gifted to two other individuals, they could gift $28,000 to each, or a total of $48,000.00 total, without incurring a Gift Tax.
529 Plans for educational needs provide an even bigger opportunity for maximizing annual gifting. The present rules allow maximum annual exclusion gifting, plus split gifting for spouses. Additionally, the present rules for gifting to a 529 Plan allow an initial gift of 5 years of annual exclusion gifting. Thus, if you were wanting to quickly fund a 529 Plan, you could gift $70,000.00 to the plan immediately, and with a spouse’s split gifting you could immediately gift $140,000.00 to the plan.
Gifting above the annual exclusion limits is another Estate Planning measure, but it will require you to pay a Gift Tax, which is not typically something people do not want to do.