While the 2017 federal tax cut means most estates won’t be subject to the federal estate tax in 2018 and 2019, state estate tax is a different matter. Some states are not going along with the increase in the federal estate tax exemption.
In 2017, Republicans in Congress and President Trump doubled the federal estate tax exemption and indexed it for inflation. In 2019, the exemption is $11.4 million for individuals and $22.8 million for couples. That means that as long as your estate is valued at under the exemption amount, it will not pay any federal estate taxes. With such a high exemption amount, very few estates will have to pay federal estate taxes. However, states can set their own estate taxes, and 12 states along with the District of Columbia have an estate tax. Additionally, six states have an inheritance tax, which taxes the person receiving the inheritance instead of the estate (Maryland is the only state that has both an estate tax and inheritance tax).