Nine states are making estate tax changes for 2017. Altogether, eighteen states plus the District of Columbia impose either estate or inheritance taxes or both. They are Oregon, Washington state, Minnesota, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Vermont, Hawaii, Kentucky, Nebraska, Iowa, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, Rhode Island, and Delaware.
As an example, New Jersey has had a long time $675,000 exemption from the state estate tax but now it will be $2 million dollars. Similar changes are in effect for the other states. Because the federal estate tax exemption amount is indexed to inflation, it rose from $5.45 million dollars for 2016 to $5.49 million dollars in 2017. So, for a married couple the exemption amount is a little shy of $11 million dollars.
How much money you can leave to your heirs free of state tax levies depends on where you live and own property, whom you’re leaving your money to, and whether your estate planning is up to date. Any doubt about this, please see an estate planning attorney for assistance.