Here are two ways to help your kids or grandkids with their education. Contributing to a 529 plan is a great option. You can shelter from gift tax as much as $75,000 in a single year per beneficiary ($150,000 if your spouse joins in). If you contribute the maximum, you’ll be treated as gifting $15,000 (or $30,000) to that beneficiary in 2018 and in each of the next four years…2019 through 2022. Payins are excluded from your estate as long as you live through the fifth year. Note that 529s are no longer just for college. Tax-free distributions of up to $10,000 can now be taken each year to help pay for private or parochial K-12 tuition. The $10,000 annual cap doesn’t apply to 529 plan withdrawals to pay for college. Paying a person’s tuition directly to the school is tax-favored, too. The payment is not treated as a gift for purposes of the gift and estate tax rules.