The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act raised the federal exemption from estate taxes to $11.2 million per person, or $22.4 million for a married couple, so the vast majority of taxpayers won’t have to worry about federal estate taxes. However, if your goal is to leave as much as you can to your heirs, then you should also pay attention to the state you choose for retirement.
Twelve states and the District of Columbia levy their own estate taxes, sometimes called death taxes, and some have much lower thresholds than Uncle Sam. In addition, six states have inheritance taxes. Maryland, whose nickname is the Free State, has both.
The good news for retirees focused on estate planning: There are 30 states that have neither estate taxes nor inheritance taxes. Check them out!