On January 1, 2012, the laws governing Oregon's inheritance tax will change. First and foremost, the name of the tax will be changed from an "inheritance tax" to an "estate tax." This is consistent with the majority of states and the federal government which define an estate tax as a tax on an entire estate while an inheritance tax is defined as a tax assessed against only certain beneficiairies of an estate.
In addition, while the current Oregon inheritance tax (soon to be estate tax) exemption of $1,000,000 will remain in effect, the tax will only apply to the value of an estate in excess of $1,000,000 (under current law once an estate exceeds $1,000,000 the tax applies to the entire estate) and the rates will change such that the majority of estates valued between $1,000,000 and $2,000,000 will pay slightly less in taxes and estates valued over $2,000,000 will pay slightly more in taxes. For a table showing the Oregon estate tax rates that will go in effect on January 1, 2012, refer to Lawmakers Tweak Oregon Estate Tax.