States That Won't Tax Your Death

How much will your children —or other heirs — pay when you die? That depends on whether you live in a state with no death tax.

White And Red Rose On A Tombstone
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Sure, unless you’re super wealthy, you’ll probably avoid the $13.61 million threshold for the federal estate tax, regardless of which state you die in. But some states aren’t so generous with estate tax exemptions, and others impose another type of death tax, known as an inheritance tax. 

Paying state death taxes can become very expensive for the loved ones you leave behind, but you might save them some money if you live — and have assets in — these states.

What is death tax?

Death taxes are tax liabilities incurred by your heirs when you die. Federal death taxes don't apply unless you leave your heirs a multi-million dollar estate. But in some states, heirs pay death taxes on even small inheritances. 

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For example, some types of heirs in Nebraska pay a death tax rate of 15% on inheritances over $25,000. The good news is you don't have to worry about state death taxes if you live in a state without estate tax or inheritance tax.

States with no inheritance or estate tax

The states on this list have no death taxes. However, keep in mind that not every state is as tax-friendly when it comes to other taxes and fees or the overall cost of living. 

If taxes are a primary consideration for where you live, weigh the pros and cons and consult your financial advisor or a qualified tax professional before making any big moves.


There are no death taxes in Alabama, which will make your heirs happy. And although you’ll pay tax on groceries in this state while you’re still alive, the grocery tax in Alabama was recently reduced. So, going shopping may be a little less expensive than it used to be. 

Additionally, if you're an hourly employee, a new overtime law in Alabama might save you even more in taxes.


Alaska residents can transfer assets to heirs tax-free when they die. You might even be able to leave your loved ones more than you had planned if you move to The Last Frontier. That’s because Alaska will pay you to live there. 

You could receive a payment through the state every year through the Permanent Fund Dividend

  • The 2023 payment amount is $1,312. 
  • That means if you received that amount every year, you’d have an extra $32,800 over the course of 25 years, which is sure to make your heirs excited.


What’s not to love about Arizona? There aren’t any death taxes, and you’ll even pay a low income tax rate while you’re living out your days. That’s because the state imposes a flat income tax rate of only 2.5%. That’s especially good news if you’re a high earner. 


Arkansas might not be your first thought for relocation, but there’s a possibility for tax savings if you do choose this state as your new home. 

Not only is there no estate or inheritance tax in the Bear State, but the top income tax rate was reduced for 2024. More tax savings could mean more money for the loved ones you’ll leave behind one day.


You probably haven’t thought about moving to California for tax savings since it’s generally a high-tax state. But your heirs won’t pay any death taxes, and some parts of the state are more affordable than others. 

For example, you could save money on property taxes if you choose one of the cheapest places in California to buy a home.


Death taxes are nonexistent in Colorado, and some residents of the Centennial State will benefit from tax savings before they pass away, thanks to a Colorado EV tax credit that’s worth up to $7,500.  

  • Colorado’s state EV credit is one of the highest available. 
  • Combined with the Federal EV tax credit, the savings could really add up.


There are plenty of pros to taxes in Delaware. Of course, there is no estate or inheritance tax in the state since it’s on this list. And there’s no state sales tax in Delaware, either. 

Property taxes in the state are on the low end, too. So, both you and your heir can enjoy the tax breaks the state has to offer.


There are plenty of reasons so many people retire in Florida, and tax savings is a major factor for some. The state has no death taxes or income taxes. 

Additionally, a Florida tax relief bill passed last year made several items, including diapers and baby and toddler clothing, exempt from the state’s sales tax. 


You don’t have to worry about your heirs paying a big state tax bill if you die in Georgia. There is no estate or inheritance tax in the state. 

Additionally, Georgia won't tax your Social Security benefits, and retirement income that is taxable is taxed at a 5.49% rate for 2024. 


Idaho might not be the most popular retirement destination since the state taxes some common types of retirement income, including pensions. But your children won’t have to pay the state when claiming their inheritance in the Gem State. 

Idaho also moved to a flat income tax rate last year, which is good news for higher earners. You’ll pay a 5.8% income tax rate, regardless of how much you make.


Indiana doesn’t have death taxes, and you may be able to pay less taxes while you’re still alive, too, depending which part of the state you live in. That’s because while Indiana has a fairly low flat income tax rate of 3.05%, some counties impose income taxes of their own.


Kansas is another state with no estate or inheritance tax . 

However, residents of the Sunflower State could pay some hefty taxes when it comes to everyday purchases since Kansas has one of the highest sales tax rates in the country.


Louisiana imposes low taxes in many areas. For example, there are no death taxes, and homeowners pay some of the lowest property tax bills in the country. 

However, some taxes in Louisiana aren’t so appealing, such as the state’s sales tax, which is higher than in most states. So, you’ll want to weigh the pros and cons before moving to Louisiana for tax savings.


If you enjoy the colder weather and don’t want your heirs to pay taxes on their inheritances, you might want to consider a move to Michigan

There is no estate or inheritance tax in the Wolverine State, and Michigan has a flat income tax rate of 4.05%.


Mississippi is a state that taxes groceries, but it won’t tax your death since the state has no estate or inheritance tax. 

And Mississippi has a flat state income tax rate that is set to reduce even further in the coming years, which is good news for the wealthy and everyone else, too.


Your loved ones won’t pay any state death taxes in Missouri, and you won't pay any state tax on your Social Security benefits. The Show-Me State also reduced its top income tax bracket for 2024, which is good news for higher earners.


Montana doesn’t have death taxes, and legislation passed last year provides long-term property tax relief to homeowners in the state. 

Income tax rates in Montana aren’t as high as in some states, but they aren’t the lowest in the country, either.   


Nevada doesn’t tax your heirs’ inheritance, and it also happens to be one of the states with no income tax. To make Nevada even more appealing, homeowners in the state enjoy fairly low property tax bills compared to other states. So, there is a lot of potential for tax savings if you live in Nevada.

New Hampshire

New Hampshire doesn’t impose death taxes. And if you plan to make your fortune by winning the lottery, you’re in luck. New Hampshire is one of the states that won’t tax your Powerball winnings

However, New Hampshire does tax some earnings.

  • There is no personal income tax in New Hampshire, but there is currently a tax on interest in dividends. 
  • However, the tax on interest and dividends will be repealed in 2025.

New Mexico

If you’ve had your eye set on the Southwest, New Mexico could be a good contender for relocation. Your heirs won’t pay a dime to the state when you die since there is no estate or inheritance tax. 

Additionally, high earners won’t pay more than a 5.9% income tax rate in the Land of Enchantment. That’s much lower than in some states.

North Carolina

There are no death taxes in North Carolina, which should make your heirs happy. And low property taxes in the state might make you happy, too.

Although groceries aren’t taxed by North Carolina, watch out for those pesky local sales taxes when you grocery shop.

North Dakota

Not paying an estate or inheritance tax is just one of the tax benefits of living in North Dakota. For example, the highest income tax you’ll pay is 2.5%, and thanks to legislation enacted last year, many filers are exempt from paying any state income tax at all. Property tax and sales tax rates in North Dakota are reasonable, too.


Your heirs won’t pay anything in Ohio on their newly acquired assets when you die since there are no death taxes in the state. But they might pay some hefty taxes later. That’s because property taxes in Ohio are higher than in most states. So, you might want to keep that in mind when leaving behind real estate.


Oklahoma may be an appealing state to grow your wealth. After all, you can transfer your assets to heirs tax-free after your death. And property tax rates are below average in Oklahoma, too. Income tax rates in the Sooner State could also benefit high earners since income tax rates never reach 4.75%.

South Carolina

Your loved ones won’t get a tax bill from South Carolina when you’re gone since the state doesn't have any estate or inheritance taxes. There are other things to like about tax in South Carolina, too. 

  • For one thing, the property tax rate in South Carolina is one of the lowest in the nation. 
  • And while there are sales taxes in the state, they are reasonable when compared to the rest of the country.

South Dakota

There are no death taxes in South Dakota, and sales taxes are pretty low, too. However, the state does tax some essential items, such as groceries and clothing. 

Even so, you’re likely to spend less on state taxes, since South Dakota is a state that won't tax your income. And who doesn’t love making tax-free money (at least at the state level)? The IRS will still take its share, of course 


There are a few things to love about living — and dying — in Tennessee. Besides not having an estate or inheritance tax, this state also won’t tax your income. So, it’s a win-win for you and your heirs. 

However, Tennessee does still tax groceries, so that’s something to keep in mind before making a decision to relocate.


Not having to pay income tax is one of the reasons some people move to Texas. But sparing heirs from paying death taxes may be another since there aren’t any in the Lonestar State. And thanks to a property tax relief measure enacted last year, known as Proposition 4, your heirs might save even more on any real estate you leave behind in Texas.


Becoming a resident of Utah could benefit your heirs when you die since there are no death taxes in the state. However, you might find living in the state a little less affordable. For example, Utah is one of only nine states that still tax Social Security retirement benefits. Paying that extra income tax is definitely a con to living in the Beehive State.


Virginia isn’t known as being a very tax-friendly place to live. Between local sales taxes on groceries and generally high income tax rates, relocating to the commonwealth might not be on your mind. However, there is no estate or inheritance tax in Virginia. 

West Virginia

West Virginia may not be the most popular retirement spot, but residents can enjoy many tax benefits in the state. Of course, there are no death taxes in West Virginia since it has made this list. But homeowners in the state also pay generally lower property tax bills than in most other states. 


In Wisconsin, your loved ones won’t have to pay a state inheritance or estate tax. And state tax changes effective for 2024 include repealing Wisconsin's personal property tax. But you might find living there less appealing, between generally high property taxes and income tax rates that are higher than in most states on this list.


Wyoming might be a good choice if you’re looking to relocate. For one thing, it was ranked by Kiplinger as one the best states for middle-class families, due to the state’s generally low tax burden. 

Of course, there are no death taxes in Wyoming, which makes it very tax-friendly for your heirs, regardless of your net worth.

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Katelyn Washington
Former Tax Writer

Katelyn has more than 6 years of experience working in tax and finance. While she specialized in tax content while working at Kiplinger from 2023 to 2024, Katelyn has also written for digital publications on topics including insurance, retirement, and financial planning and had financial advice commissioned by national print publications. She believes knowledge is the key to success and enjoys providing content that educates and informs.