Simple Estate-Planning Tool: Just Give the Money Away Wall Street Journal Online (06/18/02) Vol. 8, No. 6 p.45; Herman, Tom
One way to avoid paying estate taxes is to give money away; individuals can give up to $11,000 per year to any one they choose, and to as many people as they like, without paying taxes, and this can reduce the size of a taxable estate. Few people take advantage of this option, for a variety of reasons, but it appears that most people just do not know about it. One may exceed the limit by paying others' bills, though the payments must be made directly.