Historically, estate tax minimization is an important aspect of estate planning. Not that it isn’t still important nowadays, but as many of our readers know, the federal estate tax exemption is at an historic high of $5.34 million. That means that many Americans have little or no need of worrying about estate tax liability at the federal level.
At the state level, estate tax liability depends on where you live. States have different laws regarding death taxes and it is important for folks to work with a local attorney. That being said, there has been somewhat of a trend in recent years of states rolling back their estate taxes or increasing exemption amounts. Some states have even chosen to completely abolish death taxes. Maryland is the most recent state to make its estate taxes less burdensome. California, of course, no longer imposes estate or inheritance taxes.