Why Lifetime Gifting Should Be Central To Your Estate Plan

By Anna Davies

Right now, the lifetime exemption for gifts and estates is the highest it has ever been—$11.4 million for individuals or a $22.8 million joint exemption for married people. But this number isn’t permanent and could change. That’s why financial advisors are saying it’s a smart idea to put vehicles in place, like trusts, to enable seamless lifetime gifting. 

“Some people are waiting to do things based on how things land, politically, but that could leave them scrambling if things were to change,” said Rebecca Duguid, a senior vice president and client advisor at Whittier Trust. “The earlier you get the process started, the better.” 

Having vehicles in place now can give you the maximum flexibility in terms of gifting to kids and grandkids — and can also help your children and grandkids learn how to be wise stewards of your wealth. That’s because, while “trust fund

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