Attorney at Law

Estate Taxes: The Cost of Dying

Prior to passing away, most people intend for their possessions to transfer to family, friends, or charities. Often not considered, however, are estate taxes, which are how the government takes its last cut from a departed citizen.

There are three general types of estate taxes: transfer taxes, trust income taxes and estate income taxes. All three of these taxes are levied towards the assets of the deceased and are treated as separate taxes levied against the parts of the deceased’s possessions. 

Transfer Taxes

Transfer taxes are the fees levied against property being transferred from one person to another. This can be in the form of a gift while the transferer is alive, or it can be in the form of property and assets distributed through a will. 

The rate of transfer taxes can vary widely. The IRS exempts this tax for estate assets of less than $11.7 million for 2021. However, states, counties, and even cities can levy their own transfer taxes. Some states, like Texas, don’t have any transfer tax rate.

Trust Income Taxes

Trust income taxation is more complicated. Broadly speaking, depending on how the trust is set up, it may either pay no taxes, the taxes may be taken from the trust itself, it may be paid by the recipient of the trust, or it may be paid by the person overseeing the trust.

Estate Income Taxes

Estate income taxes are usually more streamlined. Their calculation is largely handled by IRS form 1041: U.S. Income Tax Return for Estates and Trusts. This form is structured similarly to form 1040 for a living person, with the obvious difference being that 1041 must be filed on behalf of the deceased. 

Each of these taxation methods, however, can chip away at what is left for the deceased’s beneficiaries. 

If you want to avoid estate taxes, you will need an experienced trust & estate attorney to help you construct an ironclad trust to preserve as much of your estate for your descendants as possible. The best place to find a trust & estate attorney is Attorney at Law.

At AAL, our nationwide network of attorneys and law firms allows us to match you with experienced trust & estate attorneys in your area. Our partners have the resources, legal expertise, and experience to get the best possible results for our clients.

In addition to the resources and abilities, our partners are dedicated to providing the highest quality client care. They take client cases seriously and devote themselves to the satisfaction and protection of their clients’ estates.

Don’t wait. Contact AAL today for a free, no-obligation consultation and begin your path to protect your property.

Ask a Lawyer

Ask your own question and get advice from expert attorneys
Ask Question

Featured Elder Law Lawyers

Jamie L. Gingold, PC

23 years in practice
Bankruptcy, Elder Law
View Profile

Wells Law Firm, P.C.

16 years in practice
Adoption, Child Custody, Child Support, Divorce & Family Law, Divorce Law
View Profile

Law Office of David L. Scott

28 years in practice
Criminal Defense, Divorce & Family Law, Divorce Law, Elder Law
View Profile


1 years in practice
Insurance Law, Personal Injury
View Profile

Issa Law, LLC

13 years in practice
Auto Accidents, Bicycle Accidents, Criminal Defense, DUI Law, Motorcycle Accidents
View Profile

Law Office of Tal Rubin, PC

22 years in practice
Auto Accidents, Personal Injury
View Profile


Are you looking for an attorney? Do you have questions about a legal case you are facing? Contact us now and we will put you in touch with a lawyer for free.
Attorney At Law is changing how clients connect with lawyers. By providing an innovative platform to lawyers who want to expand their practice’s reach, AAL is bringing law practices into the future.
6142 Innovation Way
Carlsbad, California 92009
Some of the content of this website may be considered attorney advertising under the rules of certain jurisdictions. The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute an attorney-client relationship.
crossmenuchevron-upchevron-down linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram