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Proposed California State Estate Tax Fails

Although many thought is would pass, Senate Bill 378 will not be appearing on the 2020 ballot.

There are currently no California Death Taxes payable by a California resident or by a non-resident who owns property in California. That means, for affected individuals dying in 2019, they are only subject to the Federal Estate Tax if they have in excess of $11.4 million per person ($22.8 million for couples who elect portability or use a credit shelter trust).

Senate Bill 378 attempted to change the law in California to impose a 40% tax on property transferred by gift or at death in excess of $3.5 million per person ($7 million per couple). According to the text of the Bill, the revenue generated by the proposed California Tax would be deposited into a Children’s Wealth and Opportunity Building Fund, funding programs and services that directly address and alleviate socio-economic inequality and build assets among people who have historically lacked them.

The proposed tax would have taken effect in January 2021.

Although the Bill will not be moving forward, an estate tax bill in one form or another can always reappear, which is why it is essential to keep in touch with your estate planning attorney to make sure you are prepared and that your plan is current in light of the latest laws.


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