When you are working on your estate plan and doing some inheritance planning you are naturally going to take the matter very seriously. Depending on the size and scope of your assets you may be in a position to leave your heirs with life changing inheritances, and this is something that takes a lot of careful consideration. This is especially true when there are young people involved and/or family member who may not be especially good at handling money.
These are realities that must be taken into consideration, but you know what? You may also have heirs who are quite established, and family members young, old, or in between who are perfectly capable of handling their inheritances well. In fact, you may have heirs that are perhaps too conservative in your estimation. It may sound kind of strange, but there are indeed people who have a hard time letting loose and doing something even the slightest bit frivolous.
Having set the stage let’s digress for a moment and take a look at tax-free gift giving. You can give as much as $13,000 worth of gifts to as many different recipients as you choose each year free of the gift tax, and these gifts do not count toward your $1 million lifetime gift tax exclusion. The gifts can be cash, but if you give your conservative family member cash what is he or she going to do with it? The answer is probably something “safe.” There is nothing inherently wrong with this, but if you want to you can be a little bit cantankerous and add some spice to the life of this loved one.
Is he a big Yankee fan? Consider buying the jersey Reggie Jackson wore in the 1977 World Series and presenting it to him as a gift. Is she a wine lover? Present her with a bottle of 1959 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti burgundy. You know your family, get creative, have fun, and see those indescribably priceless smiles on the faces of the people that you love the most.