Estate Planning Isn’t Just For The Elderly

Happy, smiling couple in their sixties.

Tis The Season for Gifting: Westchester Elder Law Attorneys Anthony J. Enea and Lauren C. Enea Shed Light on the Tax Implications

Westchester County, N.Y. (December 13, 2023) – With the holiday season in full swing, many parents and grandparents are deciding whether to make significant monetary and/or property gifts to their children, grandchildren and other loved ones. Westchester County elder law attorneys Anthony J. Enea, Esq. and Lauren C. Enea, Esq. of Enea, Scanlan & Sirignano, LLP in White Plains and Somers, N.Y., recently shared their insights on gifting and the potential tax implications.

“For those considering making a sizable gift, the possibility that the existing federal estate and gift tax exemption may be reduced from $12.92 million ($13.61 million in 2024) to $6 million as of January 1, 2026, underscores the urgency and significance of taking proactive steps before this critical window closes,” said Anthony J. Enea, the firm’s managing partner, who has spent nearly 40 years protecting the rights of seniors, the disabled and their families. “Additionally, if one’s estate is near the New York estate tax exemption of $6.58 million for 2023, utilizing the federal gift tax exemption is a valuable tool in reducing the possibility of an onerous New York estate tax as well.”

Currently, a person can gift up to $17,000 per recipient per year free of any gift taxes ($18,000 in 2024). Even above that threshold, filing a federal gift tax return doesn’t necessarily mean that the gift giver will have to pay any gift taxes. He or she will be able to apply his or her exemption for federal estate and gift taxes to the amount of any gift above the $17,000 or $18,000 in 2024 per recipient in any calendar year.

“If a single, non-married person makes a gift of $100,000 in 2023 to his or her son or daughter, $17,000 of the gift is tax free and $83,000 would be subtracted from the gift giver’s federal exemption amount of $12.92 million for federal estate and gift taxes,” explained Lauren C. Enea, a senior associate at the firm. “In the case of a married individual, their spouse’s participation in the gift would reduce the taxable amount of the gift to $66,000, with only $17,000 deducted from the lifetime exemption for each donor.”

The $12.92 million federal estate and gift tax exemption ($13.61 million per person in 2024), which expires at the end of 2025 unless made permanent by law, creates an ideal opportunity for individuals to remove highly appreciating assets from their taxable estate. It’s also a way of reducing the assets one owns that may be subjected to his or her long-term care costs and future estate taxes.

In addition to the tax implications, another consideration is whether a gift should be made outright or through a trust. This decision often involves a number of factors such as the age of the recipient, his or her ability to appropriately manage financial affairs, and spending habits.

“The use of an irrevocable trust agreement is a prudent way of gifting and managing assets for a loved one,” noted Anthony Enea. “Unless one is making a relatively small gift and there are no concerns as to the recipient squandering or wasting said monies, an outright gift may not be appropriate. In most other instances, the use of a trust to hold the gift is a much wiser option.”

An “AV” Rated Preeminent Attorney (Martindale-Hubbell, since 2002), Anthony Enea is the immediate past president of the Westchester County Bar Foundation, past chair of the New York State Bar Association’s Elder Law & Special Needs Section and 50+ Lawyers Section, and a past president of the Westchester County Bar Association. His practice areas include wills, trusts & estates; elder law; Medicaid asset protection planning; Medicaid applications (home care and nursing home); special needs planning; and guardianships (Article 81 and 17-A).

Holding several leadership positions within various legal organizations, Lauren Enea was appointed to the Executive Committee of the Westchester County Bar Association (WCBA) Trusts and Estates Section. Additionally, she serves as co-chair of the WCBA New Lawyers Section, treasurer of the Columbian Lawyers Association of Westchester County, and chairs the Publications Committee for the New York State Bar Association Elder Law and Special Needs Section. Ms. Enea concentrates her practice on wills, trusts and estates; Medicaid planning; special needs planning; and probate/estate administration.

Enea, Scanlan & Sirignano, LLP is located at 245 Main Street in White Plains, N.Y. with additional offices in Somers, N.Y. For more information or to schedule a consultation, call 914-948-1500 or visit

About Enea, Scanlan & Sirignano, LLP

Enea, Scanlan & Sirignano, LLP is an eight attorney AV preeminent rated elder law firm with offices in White Plains and Somers, N.Y. The practice concentrates on Elder Law; Medicaid Planning; Nursing Home and Home Care Applications; Wills, Trusts and Estates; Guardianships; Estate Litigation; Supplemental Needs Trusts; and Special Needs Planning. Enea, Scanlan & Sirignano, LLP serves Westchester, Rockland, Putnam, the Bronx, Manhattan, Long Island and Queens and is committed to providing the highest quality legal services to seniors, the disabled and their families. Visit the firm online at

Enea, Scanlan & Sirignano, LLP