Of course, estate management isn’t all documents. There are some basic tactics to understand as well.
The first of these is simple: give money away while you’re still alive.
The tax code allows an individual to gift up to $15,000 per person in 2019 without triggering any gift or estate taxes. If you and your spouse both make gifts, that’s up to $30,000 in 2019. However, if a person gives $16,000 to someone, the person must pay gift tax on the remaining $1,000. The annual exclusion amount is indexed for inflation, which is measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI). It rises in $1,000 increments as the CPI increases.
In 2019, an individual can give away up to $11,400,000 during his or her lifetime without owing any federal tax. Couples can leave up to twice that without owing any federal tax. Also, keep in mind that some states may have their own estate tax regulations.
Source: Internal Revenue Service, 2019