The only thing certain used to be death and taxes, but now the taxes are coming into question.

President Donald Trump and the Republican-dominated Congress are expected to revamp taxes and maybe change gift and estate tax rules, but no one knows what that will entail or when it might happen.

In the meantime, John O.  McManus, founder of McManus & Associates, an estate planning law firm in New York City, has some tips for what estate planners can do while the world waits for "U.S. tax reform" to take shape.

McManus’s has a compiled a list of “10 Must-Do Estate Planning Strategies" that advisors can use while waiting for decisive legislative action. Each strategy, in McManus's words, are outlined below.

“There is much uncertainty about particular aspects of the Republican tax proposal—including a replacement tax on the wealthy—and there is already concern about the likely impermanence of any new legislation,” says McManus. “These factors highlight the importance of flexibility in preparing an estate plan and proceeding with wealth transfers suited to the current political and economic circumstances.

“Even if tax legislation passes, it’s likely that the rules of the game will continue to change, perhaps frequently, going forward,” he adds. “It’s essential to stay in the know regarding the potential impact of new laws, in addition to tools currently available to protect your wealth.”

McManus says the following strategies are good for the long or showrt term, and most can be used advantageously by mass affluent as well as the ultra wealthy. 

1. Annual Exclusion Gifts

It is still uncertain whether both the estate tax and the gift tax will be repealed. In the past, Congress has avoided taking action to repeal the gift tax, because it prevents individuals from shifting assets to create a loophole to minimize income taxes.

Therefore, you should make annual exclusion gifts to chosen loved ones of $14,000 per recipient, contribute to 529 Plans, and contribute unlimited gifts for the benefit of family members directly to educational institutions and medical facilities.

There has been no discussion about raising the annual gift exclusion amount of $14,000, but taking advantage of the opportunity early in 2017 will maximize the potential appreciation on this year’s gift before 2018 gifts can be made beginning January 1st of next year.

It is also prudent to consider completing these gifts in trusts, which protect the cash and investments gifted from attack by spouses, lawsuits and creditors, and can allow the donor flexibility to control and access the funds held in trust.