Federal and state governments have laws governing estate planning and probate. These laws typically cover the legal requirements of wills, the creation of trusts, the specifics of the probate process, and more. Governments have also enacted laws placing a tax burden on the recipients of property from an estate. For example, a number of states have “state estate taxes,” requiring the recipients of real estate or personal property to pay taxes on the inherited property. In addition, many states allow individuals to create living wills, dictating the healthcare treatment they wish to receive should they become too ill to make decisions on their own. This section offers resources and links to state laws on estate planning, living wills, and estate taxes.
- State Laws: Estates & Probate
Every state has laws that govern estate planning and probate procedures. Find your state's laws on will requirements, the creation and distribution of trusts, intestate succession, probate procedures, and more.
- State Laws: Living Wills
A living will is a document dictating the healthcare treatment you wish to receive should you become too ill to make the decisions on your own. Find your state’s living will laws here.
- State Laws: Estate Taxes
Many states levy taxes on estate conveyances, meaning you may have to pay taxes on the real estate and personal property you inherit. Find out if your state has an estate tax here.
- Federal Estate and Gift Tax Laws
A list of federal codes dealing with estate and gift taxes. Learn about how the federal government taxes inheritance, how the federal gift tax works, and how special valuation rules are applied.