Florida Estates

Federal tax changes eliminated Florida’s estate tax after December 31, 2004. This happened because the federal credit for state death taxes on the federal estate tax return became a deduction for state estate taxes. Since Florida estate tax was based solely on the federal credit, after December 31, 2004 estate tax was no longer due. However, the personal representative of an estate may still need to complete certain forms to remove the automatic Florida estate tax lien.

Florida has no inheritance tax.

Maryland Estates

Maryland imposes an estate tax, separate from the federal estate tax. Under current law, an estate with a gross value of more than $1.5 million may owe the Maryland estate tax. By contrast, federal estate tax returns are required only for estates of more than $5.43 million for deaths in 2015. The top state estate tax rate is 16%. The top federal estate tax rate is 40%.

Maryland also imposes an inheritance tax. The inheritance tax rate doesn’t depend on how large the estate is; instead, it’s based on how closely related you are to the people who inherit from you. The closer the relative, the lower the tax rate. By way of example, your spouse, children, siblings, parents and grandparents are exempted from Maryland inheritance tax if you leave them property; but, uncles, aunts and cousins are subject to the tax.

For deaths in 2015, if you are a Maryland resident, or own valuable property in Maryland, and leave assets with a gross value of more than $1.5 million, your personal representative will have to file a state estate tax return.

Your gross estate, for Maryland tax purposes, will include your interest in:

  • Real estate (for example, if you own your home with your spouse, your half of its value would be included in your estate)
  • Bank accounts and certificates of deposit
  • Investments such as brokerage accounts, stocks, or bonds
  • Vehicles
  • Other personal belongings
  • Proceeds from any life insurance policy on your life, unless you no longer own the policy at your death
  • Retirement account funds
  • Business interests (sole proprietorship, limited liability company, or small corporation)