Slide Show | October 2014

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10 States With the Scariest Death Taxes

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Federal estate taxes are no longer a problem for all but the extremely wealthy. In 2015, as much as $5.43 million in assets will be exempt from federal estate taxes—double that for a married couple.

However, state estate taxes, which kick in for estates valued at only $1 million or less in several states, could take a big bite out of your legacy. Your home and retirement accounts will be counted when your estate is valued for tax purposes, and proceeds from your life insurance could be counted, too, depending on how the policy is owned and who gets the money.

Sixteen states and the District of Columbia impose an estate tax, and seven states impose an inheritance tax, which can force certain heirs to give up a portion of their inheritance. The good news is that a growing number of states are increasing their estate-tax exemptions in an effort to dissuade well-off retirees from moving to more tax-friendly jurisdictions. In 2015, four states will increase their estate-tax exemption, and more relief is scheduled over the next five years.

Here's a look at the states that are the least friendly places to die.

10 States With the Scariest Death Taxes
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