If you currently have an estate plan, you should visit an attorney to have it updated this year. The laws concerning the gift tax and the estate tax are currently scheduled to change at the end of this year. You need to make sure that your estate plan is up to date and conforms with any new laws. If you don’t, then your family might not receive all of the inheritance that you thought you were leaving them.
Estate planning attorneys have many different ways to lessen the gift tax and estate tax burdens that you and your family might face. However, you need to plan ahead. If you accidentally gift over the current limit, then it will be too late to avoid the tax. After you pass away, it is too late to do anything about the estate tax.
The laws will likely change again. For this reason, you should keep in touch with your estate planning attorney. You should have the attorney revisit your plan at regular intervals to make sure that it is up to date and does what you want it to do. The important thing for right now, however, is to make sure that you estate plan and gifting plan is optimal for the laws scheduled to change in 2013.