Nine states are ushering in death tax changes for 2017, and they’re all changes that lessen the tax bite. That’s nine out of the 18 states plus the District of Columbia that impose either estate or inheritance taxes or both. What you need to know is this: How much money you can leave to your heirs free of state death 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. If you’re in a state that’s making changes or has made changes recently—even if the change is tax repeal—you need to revisit your plan.
Newer estate plans can also be out of date in states that are increasing their estate tax exemptions. Many Marylanders, for example, use what’s called a state QTIP trust designed to bridge the gap between the Maryland state exemption and the federal exemption. But as the Maryland exemption is creeping up, you might not want the QTIP, says Beth Kaufman, an estate lawyer with Caplin & Drysdale in Washington, D.C. “Flexibility is key,” she says. Each state has its own quirks, but there are surefire ways to limit your state estate tax bite. For the full article, please visit Forbes’ website.