Estate planning in 2018: Should you give more away?

Oklahoma residents who use gifting strategies within their estate plan may be aware of the recent changes that have occurred. Many families will need to make difficult decisions regarding how to gift their money to family members. Recently, Congress changed some laws regarding the gift exemption and estate tax exemption.

With the December passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the lifetime gift exemption has doubled to $11.2 million for each individual. This amount has also doubled for couples to $22.4 million. These numbers are also the same for estate tax exemption.

In regards to the gift exemption, gifting is a tax strategy many families use in order to avoid estate taxes. Although a family may be able to make these gifts, it is important to think about whether they should or not. Many times, just giving heirs money may not make sense and a trust may be a better way to go.

Many Oklahoma residents are interested in passing their assets to their heirs. A legal professional skilled in estate planning can help their client with their unique estate planning situation. There are many estate planning techniques that can be used in order to avoid probate, avoid an estate tax, benefit charities and carry on a person’s legacy.

Having an estate plan that uses multiple strategies for asset allocation is a smart plan. Many people have specific wishes for their assets, whether they benefit their kids or grandkids or a special charity. An estate plan is important for many reasons, including avoiding probate, asset allocation and making sure wishes are honored.

Source:, “You can greatly increase gifts to kids-but should you?“, Rob Clarfeld, Jan. 5, 2018

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