Recently, the IRS released the 2014 annually adjusted amount for the unified gift and estate tax exemption and the generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax exemption: $5.34 million (up from $5.25 million in 2013). But even with the rising exemptions, making gifts that qualify for annual gift tax exclusions are still a good idea.

The 2013 annual gift tax —without using up any of your gift and estate or GST tax exemption. (The exclusion remains the same for 2014.)

The gifted assets are removed from your taxable estate, which can be especially s because the future appreciation can avoid gift and estate tax.

But you need to use your 2013 exclusion by Dec. 31. The exclusion doesn’t carry over from year to year. For example, if you and your spouse don’t make gift that qualifies for an annual gift tax exlusion to your granddaughter this year, you can’t add $28,000 to your 2014 exclusions to make a $56,000 tax-free gift to her next year.

For ideas on how to make the most of annual exclusion gifts., contact Doeren Mayhew’s tax consultants in Michigan, Houston or Ft. Lauderdale.