Who has to pay federal estate taxes or death taxes?
As of 2015, individuals with $5.43 million of taxable assets and married couples with twice that amount are the only individuals who have to pay federal estate tax or the so-called “death tax.” That’s not a tremendous number of people these days. It’s maybe a quarter of a percent of the population. Some states have their own versions of a death tax, inheritance tax or an estate tax, and that just varies by state. You’ll have to determine based on where you live and where you have property.
While there aren’t many people who have to pay estate tax these days, the estate tax planning landscape has changed so that standard, so-called “AB Trust Planning” is definitely not the default in terms of planning for wealthy couples these days, so you’ll definitely have to speak to a tax attorney if you want to get the right kind of tax planning for estate tax purposes.