The annual Federal Gift exclusion has been increased for 2018 to $15,000 for an individual and $30,000 for a married couple who split gifts. For lifetime gifts, the amount has now increased to $11,200,000 cumulatively per person and $22,400,000 for married couples. These same amounts apply to transfers at death but the surviving spouse does not automatically receive any of the unused exemption of a deceased spouse. The must file an Estate Tax Return Form 706 in order to claim the unused exemption. For individuals or couples that have estates approaching these amounts, planning becomes more critical than ever.