Estate planning entails such rudimentary concepts as having documents in place, having family discussions about testamentary dispositions and bringing in the skill sets of advisors.
There are still clients who may well have issues of actually incurring gift or estate tax. Transfers to grandchildren may also be an issue, but generation-skipping, the GST tax, is not our focus here. If transfer taxes are an issue, there is also the annual gifting concept – taking advantage of the $15,000 annual gift tax exclusion for gifts of present interests.
The $15,000 figure is the amount as indexed in 2020. If the transfers are sheltered by the annual gift tax exclusion, they do not reduce the unified credit available against lifetime transfers (the gift tax) and those at death (the estate tax