Many responsibilities come with administering an estate after a testator has died. One of those many different obligations is to prepare and file a decedent’s final tax return. If you’re wondering who you have to pay estate taxes to, it’s not a straightforward answer. While estate taxes were done away with in Florida in 2004, you may have an obligation to pay them on the decedent’s behalf in another state that they’ve resided in. You may have to pay federal estate taxes for a testator as well.
One of the first steps that you may want to take after being appointed as executor of a loved one’s estate is to interview the testator to find out if they’ve previously lived in a different state. You may want to do some online research or ask a testator’s closest relatives if they’ve died and you don’t know the answer to this question. You may owe another state taxes on the estate simply because the testator once lived there. If you fail to pay that, then you could be held civilly liable for the indiscretion.
If there’s one thing that you should know about federal estate taxes, it’s that not everyone owes them. Testators only have to pay these taxes if their estate is valued at $11.18 million or more. An estate is assessed an increasingly higher tax rate starting at 18% and capping out at 40% depending on how much the estate is worth over the $11.18 million threshold.
It should be mentioned that Florida doesn’t have a gift tax either. There is a federal one though. This tax was assessed by the federal government on any gifts of $15,000 or over in 2018.
One of the most responsibilities that you have as the executor of a Miami resident’s estate is to make sure that you pay off their creditors and taxes and distribute assets to theirs. All of this sounds simple. It can be quite daunting for you to do if you’ve never administered an estate before though. An estate tax attorney can walk you through all of this so that you aren’t held personally liable for any mistakes.