As advisors, if we knew when clients were to pass away, who was to survive them, the assets included in their taxable estates, and what the tax laws would be at the time of their deaths, we could all design perfect estate plans. We could also advise clients, with absolute accuracy, when and how to make lifetime gifts to minimize taxes and best effectuate their non-tax objectives. Of course, we cannot know any of these things, so we must simply do the best we can with what we have. In many cases, doing so requires building flexibility into the client's gifting strategy in anticipation of potential changes to the tax laws or a client's family or financial circumstances.
This article discusses how to design and implement lifetime transfers, including gifting strategies and provisions that are often overlooked by advisors. Above all, this article is designed to leave the reader with practical examples of how to add value to client relationships by providing creative and proactive solutions.

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The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.