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State Laws: Estate Taxes

State Estate or Death Taxes: Paid by the Estate

A number of states impose estate taxes on any real estate owned by a decedent within the state, and on the personal property of deceased residents of the state. One tax rate may apply to all assets in the estate, or the rate may vary depending upon who receives what property. For example, a state may impose a lower tax rate on property left to a child, as compared with property left to a distant cousin. It is important to note that a few states are in the process of phasing out their estate tax systems.

State Inheritance Taxes: Paid by the Recipient of Property

In states that carry inheritance tax laws, taxes must be paid by the person who receives inherited property (as opposed to estate taxes which are paid from the decedent's estate). Inheritance tax exemptions and rates may vary depending on who received the property, i.e. the decedent's spouse may be taxed at a lower rate than would be a friend of the decedent. A number of states are phasing out their inheritance tax systems.

"Pickup" Tax

Keep in mind that most states, even if technically carrying estate or inheritance tax laws, in practice follow what is known as a "pickup" system of taxation at the time of the decedent's death. Under this system, while a state tax return must be filed on behalf of the estate (or by a recipient who inherits property), the state's share of the tax comes out of what the estate is already paying the IRS. In other words, in most states no tax will need to be paid beyond the amount that is already being paid to the federal government.

What's Below?

In the table below, where applicable you will find links and citations to estate, inheritance, and similar taxation laws for all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Visit FindLaw's Estate Planning section for additional articles and resources.
 

Alabama

Title 40, Section 15 Estate and Inheritance Tax
Title 40, Section 15A Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax

Alaska Title 43, Chapter 31 Estate Tax
Arizona Title 42 Taxation
Arkansas Title 26, Chapter 59 Estate Taxes
California California Revenue and Taxation Code, Division 1, Part 10, Chapter 9 Estates, Trusts, Beneficiaries, and Decedents
Colorado Title 39, Article 23-24 Estate and Inheritance and Succession Tax
Connecticut

Title 12, Chapter 216 Succession and Transfer Taxes
Title 12, Chapter 216a Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax
Title 12, Chapter 217 Estate Tax
Title 12, Chapter 218 Federal and State Estate Taxes
Title 12, Chapter 218a Estate Income Tax

Delaware Title 30, Chapter 13 Inheritance
Title 30, Chapter 14 Gift Tax
Title 30, Chapter 15 Estate Tax
Title 30, Chapter 16 Pass-Through Entities, Estates and Trusts
Title 30, Chapter 17 Interstate Compromise or Arbitration of Death Taxes
District of Columbia Title 47, Chapter 37 Inheritance and Estate Taxes
Florida Title XIV, Chapter 198 Estate Taxes
Georgia Chapter 48-12
Hawaii Chapter 236D Estate and Transfer Tax
Idaho

Chapter 63-3024 Individuals' Tax and Tax on Estates and Trusts
Chapter 63-3022L Individuals who are Officers, Directors, Shareholders,
Partners or Members of a Corporation or Partnership or
Beneficiaries of a Trust or Estate

Illinois 35 ILCS 405 Illinois Estate and Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax Act
Indiana Title 6, Article 4.1 Death Taxes
Iowa

Title X, Chapter 450 Inheritance Tax
Title X, Chapter 450A Generation Skipping Transfer Tax
Title X, Chapter 450B Qualified Use Inheritance Tax

Kansas Chapter 79, Article 15 Death Taxes
Kentucky Title XI, Chapter 140 Inheritance and Estate Taxes
Louisiana Title 47, Section 181 Imposition of Tax on Estates and Trusts
Maine Title 36, Chapters 551-575 Inheritance, Succession and Estate Taxes
Maryland Tax-General, Title 7 Death Taxes
Massachusetts

Title IX, Chapter 65 Taxation of Legacies And Successions
Title IX, Chapter 65A. Taxation of Transfers of Certain Estates.
Title IX, Chapter 65B Settlement of Disputes Respecting the Domicile
of Decedents for Death Tax Purposes.
Title IX, Chapter 65C Massachusetts Estate Tax.

Michigan Chapters 205.201 - 205.256 Michigan Estate Tax Act
Minnesota Chapter 291 Estate Tax
Chapter 292 Gift Taxes
Mississippi Title 27, Chapter 9 Estate Tax
Missouri Title X, Chapter 145 Estate Tax (formerly Inheritance Tax)
Montana

Chapter 15-30-2151 Tax on beneficiaries or fiduciaries of estates or trusts
Chapter 15-30-2152 Computation of income of estates or trusts -- exemption
Chapter 15-30-2153 Determination of tax of estates and trusts
Chapter 15-30-2154 Estates and trusts tax remedies.

Nebraska Chapters 77-2001 - 77-2116 Inheritance Tax; Estate Tax;
Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax
Nevada

Title 32, Chapter 375A Tax on Estates
Title 32, Chapter 375B Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax

New Hampshire Title V Chapter 87 Taxation of Transfers of Certain Estates
Title V, Chapter 88-A Uniform Estate Tax Apportionment Act Chapter
Title V, Chapter 90 Settlement of Disputes Respecting the Domicile of
Decedents for Death Tax Purposes
New Jersey Inheritance and Estate Tax Overview
New Mexico Chapter 7, Article 7 Estate Tax
New York Tax, Article 26 Estate Tax
Tax, Article 26-B Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax
North Carolina Chapter 105, Article 1A Estate Taxes
North Dakota Chapter 57-37.1 Estate Tax (PDF)
Ohio Title LVII, Chapter 5731 Estate Tax
Oklahoma Sections 68-801 - 68-827 Inheritance or Transfer Taxes
Oregon Chapter 118 Inheritance Tax
Pennsylvania Title 20, Chapter 37 Apportionment of Death Taxes
Rhode Island

Chapter 44-22 Estate and Transfer Taxes - Liability and Computation
Chapter 44-23 Estate and Transfer Taxes - Enforcement and Collection
Chapter 44-23.1 Uniform Estate Tax Apportionment
Chapter 44-24 Gift Tax

South Dakota Title 10, Chapter 40 Imposition And Amount Of Inheritance Tax
Title 10, Chapter 40A Estate Tax
Title 10, Chapter 41 Administration And Collection Of Inheritance Tax
South Carolina Title 12, Chapter 16 Estate Tax
Tennessee Title 67, Chapter 8 Transfer Taxes
Texas Tax Code, Subtitle J, Chapter 211 Inheritance Taxes
Utah Title 59, Chapter 11 Inheritance Tax Act
Vermont

Title 32, Chapter 185 Interstate Arbitration of Death Taxes
Title 32, Chapter 187 Interstate Compromise of Death Taxes
Title 32, Chapter 189 Uniform Estate Tax Apportionment Act
Title 32, Chapter 190 Estate and Gift Taxes

Virginia Title 58.1, Chapter 9 Virginia Estate Tax
Washington Titles 83 Estate Taxation
West Virginia Chapter 11, Article 11 Estate Taxes
Wisconsin Chapters 72 Estate Tax
Wyoming Title 39, Chapter 19 Inheritance Taxes

Contact an estate planning lawyer in your area if you have additional questions or need legal assistance.

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