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Which estate and inheritance taxes apply where the decedent is from one state and an heir is in another state.

Novato, CA |

My wife's childless Aunt died in PA and left her a portion of her estate. We are in CA. Which estate and inheritance taxes will apply to my wife's portion of the estate?

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Best answer

    The estate tax is federal. It is paid by the estate, not the person inheriting a portion of the estate (what is paid reduces what can be distributed).

    I don't know if Pennsylvania has an inheritance tax ... if it does and the estate meets the threshold for payment, then, again, it is the estate that pays the tax.

    The heir (your wife) pays no tax for her inheritance (unless you are speaking of an inherited IRA and the like).


  2. What additional facts, not stated, give rise to any tax being due?

    Louis T. Wierenga Assisting in mitigating your business and tax risks. www.LTWLAW.com E Ltw@LtwLaw.com Twitter @LTWLAW The information provided is for general purposes only and should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.


  3. The tax will be determined in the state of residency at the time of death, which appears to be PA in this case. The estate will pay any Federal Estate Tax due and any Death Taxes due to the State of PA. Where the heir lives is irrelevant.

    H. Daniel Lively, Esq., LL.M., CPA Certified Tax Specialist, CA Board of Legal Specialization dlively@livelylawgroup.com www.USTaxRescue.com 714-708-2593 Mr. Lively is a Certified Tax Specialist by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization. He can be reached at 714-708-2593 or USTaxRescue.com.Any individual seeking legal advice for their own situation should retain their own legal counsel as this response provides information that is general in nature and not specific to any person's unique situation. Circular 230 Disclaimer - Advice given in this response cannot be used to eliminate penalties with the IRS or any other governmental agency.