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9 States With the Scariest Death Taxes

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Unless you’ve just won one of this year’s mind-boggling lottery jackpots, you probably don’t have to worry about federal estate taxes. The tax overhaul increased the amount of assets that is exempt from federal estate taxes to $11.18 million per person, or $22.36 million for a married couple.

However, 12 states and the District of Columbia impose their own estate taxes, and six states have an inheritance tax (which can force certain heirs to give up a portion of their inheritance).

In some states, taxes creep in on estates valued at merely $1 million. For purposes of assessing an estate tax, the value of your home and retirement accounts will be counted. Proceeds from your life insurance could be counted, too, depending on how the policy is owned and who gets the money.


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. New Jersey and Delaware eliminated estate taxes altogether at the end of 2017. But if you live in one of the following states, beware. We’ve listed states with more generous exemption levels first. Take a look.

SEE ALSO: All 50 States Ranked for Taxes


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