In 2010, Congress and the President raised the lifetime gift tax coupon (exclusion) amount from $1 Million to $5 Million.  We estate planning attorneys and our client families rejoiced!   We now had an estate planning coupon which made sense.   The new coupon would protect most Americans against the ravages of the Estate, Gift and Generation Skipping Transfer Taxes.  By taking the enormous tax bite out of the equation, we were now able to plan based upon CONTROL, rather than taxes.

We counseled our client families  that they would now be able to give reasonable  gifts to children or other loved ones and still be able to save millions of dollars  in taxes at the same time.  But after all the rejoicing, the unsteady economy and Congress’ inability to act, has made many Americans cautious.  Our client families are thinking twice before giving away wealth that they may need themselves in later years.

According to this article in Bloomberg Business Week, however, the time has come for friends and loved ones to take a careful look at their finances and decide if they want to take advantage of the $5 Million gift tax coupon (exclusion) before it expires. “Legislation enacted in 2010, which raised the lifetime gift-tax exclusion to about $5.1 Million for each person, is set to expire on December 31, 2012.  The coupon will drop to $1 Million on Jan. 1, 2013 unless Congress and the President take additional action.”

Families and loved ones who want to take advantage of the gift tax coupon, but who worry that their children or other loved ones may not yet be ready to handle such a large financial gift, do have options. As the article points out, “Many [families] are setting up special trusts for loved ones and transferring assets into those special trusts.” This choice not only allows the assets to appreciate, but also allows families to breathe easy while beneficiaries have time to mature, before receiving a gift or inheritance.  The special trusts may include relatively small, one-time gifts of life insurance in an Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust (ILIT).   An ILIT provides financial security, creditor protection and secure payment of the gift in a very cost effective manner.

If you think you, your family, or loved ones may benefit from taking advantage of the $5 Million coupon and one of these special trusts before the end of the year, please contact Ilene McCauley at 480-296-2036 or at   We can help you explore your options and enable you to learn more about what other choices you may have now and in the years to come.

Time is ticking by.   Act today!!!