Financial Planning

Washington State Estate Taxes Catch Many Families Unprepared

$2,193,000 million. That looks like a big number, but if you die in Washington state with more than this (per individual) you could pay the Washington Estate Tax. For individuals with a lifetime accumulation of assets, this figure just is not that large. You could own multiple properties, a small business, or have received an inheritance, and assets can quickly add up. The national news continually reminds us of the Federal Estate threshold of over $11,400,000.00, and many families in Washington do not know Washington state has a much lower bar before you start paying estate tax. With fewer than a dozen states imposing this kind of estate tax it is no wonder it is not widely understood.

Some Financial Planning software has a state by state capacity to forecast your estate tax. At Skyline, we utilize MoneyGuide Pro software, and our clients receive a forecast of what that liability could be. We have had clients that have been shocked to see very large amounts of their estate could have headed to Olympia at their passing. Of course, once empowered with the knowledge about this potential estate planning pitfall, people may have the ability to lessen the financial impact or even eliminate it altogether.

The Washington estate tax law allows for lifetime gifts and death-bed gifts to leverage even greater tax savings.

We at Skyline do not give tax or legal advice. The above is for informational purposes only and readers are encouraged to get help from their own attorney or tax professional.


Mark Logan CFP® is a financial advisor at Skyline Advisors, a locally owned and operated Registered Investment Advisor providing money management and financial planning services.  Skyline Advisors is located at 405 32nd St., Ste 201 in Bellingham and also at

Mark can be reached at 360-671-1621 or at  


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