When it comes to estate planning, one of the primary goals is to transfer as much of a person's assets to their intended beneficiaries at the lowest cost or, in other words, by paying the least amount of tax.
Giving your assets to your heirs is all about timing. When to do it and how to do it depends on your situation. Is it best to maximize your gifting strategy while you are living? Or should you plan your gifts for after death?
Formerly, the primary concern was the estate tax. The strategy was to gift during life using the annual gift tax exclusion, currently $14,000 per donee per year. After all, gifting lets you incrementally slide under that onerous estate tax ceiling.