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State Estate Taxes
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Federal estate taxes are no longer a problem for all but the extremely wealthy. However, several states have their own estate taxes and inheritance taxes that could still hit your heirs.

State Estate Taxes.  For now, most people don’t have to be scared of federal estate taxes. In 2022, only estates valued at $12.06 million or more for an individual ($24.12 million or more for a married couple) need to pay federal estate taxes. Even better for the very wealthy, there’s no federal inheritance tax for heirs who reside in such lofty economic brackets, notes the recent article titled “States with Scary Death Taxes” from Kiplinger.

By definition, estate taxes are paid by the estate and based on the estate’s overall value, while inheritance taxes are paid by the individual who inherits property, assets, or anything else of value. This isn’t to say “regular people” don’t need to worry about death taxes. We do, because states have their own estate taxes, and a few still have inheritance taxes.

A number of states eliminated estate taxes in the last ten years or so, in an effort to keep retirees from leaving and heading to places like Florida, where there’s no tax. However, a dozen states and the District of Columbia still have estate taxes, six states have an inheritance tax.

Connecticut has a state estate tax, with an exemption level at $9.1 million. However, there is no inheritance tax. The Nutmeg state is the only state with a gift tax on assets gifted during one’s life.

It is not necessary to move purely to avoid estate or inheritance taxes. An experienced estate planning attorney uses strategic tax planning as part of an estate plan, minimizing tax liability and preserving assets.

Reference: Kiplinger (July 29, 2022) “States with Scary Death Taxes”