Although the promise of a new income tax basis at death (and other factors) tend to discourage gift making during life, those with larger estates are sometimes motivated to make inter vivos gifts anyway. A 2000 Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals case 3 has painted a clear picture as to how it should not be done.
"How Not To Make Gifts,"
Agricultural Law Digest: Vol. 11
, Article 1.
Available at: http://lib.dr.iastate.edu/aglawdigest/vol11/iss19/1