Lifetime giving is a way to transfer money from your estate to your heirs to reduce the size of your estate and the impact of potential estate taxes. You may make gifts up to a certain amount per person each year without having to pay gift taxes. This type of gift is called an “annual exclusion gift,” and each person can make as many annual exclusion gifts as he or she would like in any given year, free of tax to both the giver and the recipient, up to a lifetime maximum.
One effective strategy is to use annual exclusion gifts to make lifetime gifts to an
Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust (ILIT). The ILIT can purchase a life insurance policy, which can be received by the trust free of estate and income taxes, potentially increasing the amount left for the next generation.