December 31 the 5 Million Dollar gift tax exemption is set to expire and revert back to 1 Million dollars. This is separate from the $13,000 annual gift exclusion. There is a relatively small percentage of the population that this can make a difference for. Even for those who could take advantage of it, many are not so eager to give away the money just to reduce their future estate tax bill. Many older people feel that they will not have enough to live on if they give away the funds.
The deadline for making such a gift is rapidly approaching as it can take several weeks to prepare document to deal with the issues correctly.
There are ways of making the gifts so that exposure to creditors is limited. Some ways of making the gift are in the form of cash, in trust, as part of a business, or a combination of the above.
Careful attention to the assets is necessary so that you can take advantage or not lose stepped up basis on highly appreciated assets that would normally occur with assets that pass after death.