Due to not just the approaching US election but also continued economic uncertainty and a country that is dealing with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, family gifting is likely not at the top of your list of goals. Despite its uncertainty, the current situation creates an opportunity for individuals with the appropriate types of assets to save on transfer taxes. This window of opportunity, however, will not last forever. The current $11.58 million per individual transfer tax exemption is scheduled to be reduced to $6 million on January 1, 2026. This decrease, however, could potentially be much sooner than 2026 based on who wins the US Presidential election. As a result, this article reviews some important factors that you should consider about making gifts that make the most of tax exemptions given the current state of these exemptions.
Trusts Are A Powerful Way to Transfer Assets
Passing gifts through trust allows a person to separate the timing of gifting from issues related to distribution. Additionally, placing assets in a trust also offers creditor protection which is not available if a person makes an outright gift to a beneficiary. If desired, a trust can give beneficiaries substantial control over assets consistent with those associated with enhanced creditor protection. Trusts can also be structured with transfers to them are viewed as gifts for either estate or gift tax purposes, which also allow the person transferring them to remain the owner of the property for income tax purposes. A person’s ability to pay income taxes on behalf of the trusts is then not classified as an additional gift.