In 2012, each individual is allowed to give away during his or her lifetime up to $5,120,000 without any federal gift or estate taxes due to the historically high exemption for federal transfer tax purposes. The same exemption amount applies for generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax purposes this year. This exemption amount is scheduled to expire at the end of this calendar year and the future of the federal transfer tax laws is uncertain. Imagine the tax savings that may be achieved if you could give away amounts within the exemption, in trust for the benefit of future generations, and avoid gift and estate taxes that might otherwise be payable by your children or grandchildren in their own estates. Due to the all-time high generation-skipping transfer tax exemption made available this year, it is possible to give away more without triggering a tax liability.
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