Estate And Asset Protection Strategies Generally, the goals of estate planning are to provide for financial security in life and to maximize - given the client's goals and objectives - the estate for family and other heirs following death. To fully leverage estate preservation opportunities and develop strategies to help achieve distribution objectives, we consider:Will and trust design strategiesProperty ownership alternatives, including the review of titling and beneficiaries to coordinate with your overall planEstate tax reduction techniquesInsurance analysisQualified plan distribution alternativesFamily-gifting strategiesCharitable planningEmployee stock option optimizationTax ConsiderationsParameters of the Estate, Gift and GST Taxes Under Current Law (2017) Maximum Tax Rate (Percent)Applicable Exclusion Amount (the Exemption) Estate and GSTGiftEstate and GSTGift, LifetimeGift, annual, per recipient*2017 4040$5.49 million$5.49 million$14,0002018 4035$5.6 million$5.6 million$15,000 Source: Internal Revenue CodePortability of Exemption EquivalentThe Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 (the Act) allows portability of a decedent's unused estate exemption to the decedent's surviving spouse. Portability has been made permanent under the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (ATRA).In addition, portability applies to the unused exemption of the surviving spouse's most recent deceased spouse. Thus, beginning after 2010, a surviving spouse could use his/her exemption (assume $5,000,000) plus the unused exemption of his/her most recent deceased spouse, for a possible total of $10,000,000. In 2018, the possible total is $11,2000,000.