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Death Taxes: Will There be Anything Left for Your Heirs?

April 24, 2014 By Jennifer A. King

The Maryland Estate Tax, also commonly referred to as a “Death Tax,” is a tax imposed on the transfer of property at death.  Currently, a Maryland Estate Tax return is required for every estate whose federal gross estate plus prior taxable gifts equals or exceeds $1,000,000.  The federal gross estate includes all real property, personal property, jointly held property, insurance and other assets in which the decedent had an interest.  

In comparison, the IRS requires a Federal Estate Tax return for every estate whose gross estate equals or exceeds $5,340,000.  The Maryland Senate recently approved House Bill 739 which would recouple Maryland’s Estate Tax with that of the federal government.  If the bill is signed by Governor O’Malley, the Maryland Estate Tax exemption will gradually increase.  In 2015 it would increase to $1,500,000; $2 million in 2016; $3 million in 2017; $4 million in 2018; and in 2019 it would be coupled with the Federal Estate Tax.

It is very likely Governor O’Malley will sign this bill into law in an effort to keep those persons with larger estates in Maryland.  Check back to find out if this will go into effect!