My wife and I have an estate that would be hit with the estate tax if we were both to die. Because of this, we’ve researched the subject a fair amount. We’ve come to the conclusion that there’s no way to avoid it, except by trusting small amounts of money to family/friends each year. Of course, if we were to trust it to them, then it’s not ours anymore, and the reason we’re saving the money in the first place is for our sons’ college in 15+ years, and for our retirement.
So we’re trying to build enough to cover a comfortable retirement and to give our sons an education - we don’t want to give it away. But if we were to die before then, Uncle Sam would come in and confiscate a huge chunk of change, on money that we’ve already paid taxes on to begin with!
The esate tax is hard to evade, and it’s a very real issue for us.