As I noted in a post about a month ago we are facing potentially dramatic year-end changes to the federal estate and gift tax.  The “exemption amount” could drop from $5 million to $1 million.  In any event, it seems like the exemption will ultimately be less than it is now.

This means that for many high net worth individuals, 2012 is a good year to make gifts.  It also means that you may have a very valid, independent reason to transfer certain assets (other than for asset protection).  That is, a challenge to any transfer you make could be at least partially defended by the fact that there are very important tax reasons to make the transfer this year.

In any event, 2012 could be a good year for high net worth individuals to consider making gifts.  This would certainly be worth discussing with your estate planning attorney.