Planning And Strategic Gift-Giving

While many popular gifting strategies involve charities, gifting to family members can be equally rewarding. Here are a few easy approaches that can reduce or avoid taxes, and are also effective wealth transfer techniques. 

"Gifting strategies": when you are young the only strategies out there are about picking the gift, the wrapping paper or maintaining the surprise. Later in life, however, gifting is serious business and there are some important strategies to consider when you have a lifetime of assets to pass on to your family and loved ones.

Gifting makes up one of the pillars of estate planning. Strategic gifting can mean all the difference between a plan for family wealth that works and a plan that doesn't. Forbesrecently offered a helpful list of strategies in an article titled "5 Family Gifting Strategies." This article brings some important techniques front and center.

While it is worth your time to read the entire article, here is a quick list of the five strategies offered:

  1. Make use of your full annual exclusion with a tax-wise gift every year.
  2. Start a Roth IRA with a younger heir.
  3. Pay college tuition or medical bills directly and escape the annual exclusion requirement.
  4. Gift appreciated assets, especially to heirs in lower tax brackets.
  5. Gift in the form of 529 plan contributions and remember those state income tax deductions.

Gifting with purpose can provide many ways to work legally in and around the tax code to strategically move family wealth. Nevertheless, you have to start early and plan carefully. A powerful estate plan can use such strategic gifting to move a great deal of wealth over several years rather than all at once. The best part? You get to be there to see your heirs make use of the gifts you give.

For more information about estate planning, please visit our website.

Reference: Forbes (May 8, 2014) "5 Family Gifting Strategies"

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