This week I received a call from a potential client who owns real estate in three different states aside from her home state of Florida. I couldn't remember off the top of my head which of the states where she owns property collects a state estate tax, and when I tried to find a chart that lists this information I couldn't locate a simple and straightforward one, so I created one:
Currently the following 18 states collect a state estate tax along with the District of Columbia - Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont, and Washington. Ohio has the lowest exemption at $338,333, and the exemption in both Delaware and North Carolina is $3,500,000, which is of course equal to the current federal exemption.
Traditionally estate planning focused on minimizing federal estate taxes, but when the "pick up" tax was phased out in 2005 the state estate tax gap was created. So if you live in one of the jurisdictions listed above, don't forget about state estate taxes. If your estate plan was created before 2005 and hasn't been reviewed since, now is the time for an update meeting with your estate planning attorney.