To give or not to give in 2011 and 2012 … that is the estate planning question
Abstract: Now that the gift tax exemption stands at $5 million and the top gift tax rate is 35%, the tax environment is especially favorable for making large gifts. But because the current levels are scheduled to expire after 2012, the question of whether to maximize gifts to children or other loved ones this year and next is a good one. This article takes a look at a few answers, taking into account “clawback” risks and how family limited partnerships (FLPs) and grantor retained annuity trusts (GRATs) fit into the picture. A sidebar looks at the tax-saving power of nontaxable gifts.