Wealth Planning Law Group
attorney Todd M. Villarrubia

Todd Villarrubia

Attorney at Law
Get To Know Todd

Taxes that Affect an Estate

Posted On: January 17, 2024

By: Todd Villarrubia

Todd M. Villarrubia, an authority in wealth planning and preservation, brings over 30 years of in-depth, experience to the complex challenges of safeguarding familial and individual wealth. Based in New Orleans, Louisiana, his expertise is not only recognized in the local community but also reverberates within the legal industry.
Grantor-Trust
Estate tax and inheritance tax significantly impact an estate’s value. Estate tax is levied on the estate’s total value at death before distribution to beneficiaries. In contrast, inheritance tax is imposed on the beneficiaries based on the value of assets received. Understanding these taxes is critical for effective estate planning…

Identifying the Taxes that Affect an Estate

Estate tax and inheritance tax significantly impact an estate's value. Estate tax is levied on the estate's total value at death before distribution to beneficiaries. In contrast, inheritance tax is imposed on the beneficiaries based on the value of assets received. Understanding these taxes is critical for effective estate planning.

What Is Inheritance Tax?

Inheritance tax varies by state and is paid by the recipient of the inheritance. States like Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Nebraska, New Jersey and Pennsylvania have specific exemptions and tax rates based on the beneficiary's relationship with the deceased and the inheritance size.

Federal Estate Tax Explained

For 2024, the federal estate tax exemption is $13.61 million per individual, with estates exceeding this threshold taxed at up to 40%. Estates valued below this limit are exempt from federal estate taxes. High-net-worth individuals benefit significantly from these exemptions but must consider state-level estate taxes, which can vary.  Be aware that this historically large exemption will be cut in half starting January 1, 2026 so it's important to speak with an experienced estate planning attorney now before the law sunsets.

Impact of Tax Rates on Estate Value

Estate tax rates range from 18% to 40%, meaning that taxes can diminish a substantial portion of an estate's value. Effective estate planning, including trusts and lifetime gifting strategies, can minimize the estate's taxable value.

Capital Gains Tax: An Important Consideration for Estates

Capital gains tax applies to profits made from selling inherited property or investments. If inherited assets appreciate and are then sold, the beneficiary may owe capital gains tax on the profits.

Minimizing Estate Taxes: Strategies and Tips

Strategies to minimize estate taxes include using both spouses' estate tax exemptions, spending down assets, gifting and setting up trusts. These methods can reduce the estate's taxable value, thus lowering the tax liability.

Estate Tax vs. Inheritance Tax: Understanding the Differences

The Estate pays estate tax based on its total value exceeding federal or state thresholds. Inheritance tax is paid by the beneficiary based on the inherited amount and their degree of kinship or lack thereof to the decedent. The key difference is who bears the tax burden - the estate or the inheritor.

How Estate Planning Can Mitigate Tax Impact

Proper estate planning can significantly mitigate the impact of taxes on an estate. An estate planning attorney can help explore various strategies, ensuring compliance with tax laws and maximizing available deductions and exemptions.

Conclusion: Navigating Taxes in Estate Planning

Navigating the complexities of taxes that affect an estate is essential for ensuring a smooth transfer of wealth. Individuals can effectively manage their estate's tax burden by understanding and planning for both federal and state estate and inheritance taxes.

For personalized advice and to develop a comprehensive estate plan that navigates these tax considerations, schedule a consultation with our experienced estate planning attorneys today.

Request A Consultation
Share This Post
Wealth Planning Law Group

101 Allen Toussaint Blvd. Ste 404
New Orleans, LA 70124

Get Directions
IMS - Estate Planning and Elder Law Practice Growth Advisors
Powered by
chevron-downarrow-right