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State Estate Tax Developments and Impact of Potential Federal Repeal

Publisher: Day Pitney Estate Planning Update
December 13, 2016

New Jersey has repealed its estate tax, increasing the New Jersey exemption to $2 million in 2017 and eliminating the tax entirely for decedents dying in 2018 or later. New Jersey's separate inheritance tax would still affect some estates. See our special October 2016 Estate Planning Update for further details..

New York has been increasing its estate tax exemption in steps. The New York estate tax exemption will increase to $5.25 million effective for decedents dying on or after April 1, 2017. The New York exemption will match the federal exemption, beginning on January 1, 2019.  The Massachusetts estate tax exemption remains $1 million, and the Connecticut exemption remains $2 million. Absent action by the state legislatures, the New York, Massachusetts and Connecticut estate taxes would remain in effect even if the federal estate tax were to be repealed. 

A little good news: Massachusetts tax authorities do appear to be conceding that the Massachusetts estate tax does not apply to real estate located outside the commonwealth. See our Trusts & Estates article, "Massachusetts Court Ruling Reveals Estate Tax Constitutional Issue," for more details.