The estate tax, sometimes referred to as “death tax,” is a levy imposed on estates whose value exceeds an exclusion limit set by law. There is a federal estate tax, and some states have a separate one, and Colorado does not have an estate tax.
An in-depth discussion of the mechanics of the estate tax would take volumes to complete. However, the most critical number to consider for these purposes is the lifetime exemption when determining whether an estate tax will be imposed. The 2017 “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” significantly raised the federal estate tax exemption.
For 2020, the exemption for an individual is set at $11,580,000.00 ($23,160,000.00 for married couples). Only if an estate, and all lifetime taxable gifts, exceed 11.58 Million Dollars will the federal estate tax be imposed.
Even then, the tax is only imposed on the amounts that exceed the exclusion. This increase is set to expire in 2025, after which it will drop to the prior exemption levels of roughly $5.5 Million, adjusted for inflation.