Location, location – important even in death

There are places where you shouldn’t be caught dead, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.

These are states – and Washington, D.C. – that impose an estate tax on those who die and/or an inheritance tax on those receiving assets from the deceased. Although some states impose both taxes, they generally offer credits in an attempt to avoid double taxation.

While the federal law generally exempts estates below $5.25 million ($10.5 million for a married couple), the exemptions can be much lower or nonexistent in many states – and often are not automatically adjusted for inflation.

Besides the District of Columbia, the states you may wish to avoid during your final days include, in alphabetical order, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont and Washington.

The Wall Street Journal‘s census estimates show that approximately two-thirds of the U.S. population is following the newspaper’s advice and living outside the reach of these local tax agents of the Grim Reaper.

“Death and taxes and childbirth. There’s never any convenient time for any of them.” – Margaret Mitchell, author of Gone with the Wind