Would you rather transfer your wealth to the IRS or to your family? If you answered your family, then read on.
Every taxpayer may transfer up to $13,000 each year to an unlimited number of individuals. This is known as the Annual Gift Exclusion (AGE). Through gift splitting, spouses may give a total of $26,000 each year to an unlimited number of individuals. Such lifetime gifts made within these dollar limitations do not trigger gift taxes when made, nor do they reduce the combined Estate Tax Exemption Amount available to protect lifetime transfers of wealth exceeding AGE limits and post-mortem transfers of wealth. Accordingly, maximizing transfers within the limits of the AGE has been and remains a prudent method to transfer wealth between generations.
Lifetime Gift Exemption
In addition to transfers under the Annual Gift Exclusion, taxpayers are able to make total lifetime tax-exempt transfers of wealth totaling $1 million independent of the AGE limitations. For example, a widow with five grandchildren could transfer a total of $1,065,000 to them free of gift taxes all in the same calendar year. Additionally, this $1,065,000 would be excluded from her estate for determining any future estate tax liability, as would any future appreciation on the gift.
Depending on the size of your overall estat