Estate Taxes in Massachusetts

Minimizing State and Federal Estate Taxes

Without proper estate planning, your estate may be needlessly subjected to federal or state estate tax. Cushing & Dolan, P.C., was founded as a tax law firm, and we are recognized in the Boston area and beyond for sophisticated strategies to eliminate or reduce "death taxes."

Federal and Massachusetts Estate Tax Systems

YEARMA ExemptionFederal Estate Tax ExemptionFederal Gift Tax Exemption
2003$700,000$1 million$1 million
2004$850,000$1.5 million$1 million
2005$950,000$1.5 million$1 million
2006$1 million$2 million$1 million
2007$1 million$2 million$1 million
2008$1 million$2 million$1 million
2009$1 million$3.5 million$1 million
2010$1 millionNo Federal Estate Tax$1 million
2011$1 million$5 million$5 million
2012$1 million$5.12 million$5.12 million
2013$1 million$5.25 million$5.25 million
2014$1 million$5.34 million$5.34 million
2015$1 million$5.34 million*$5.34 million*

NOTE: Massachusetts does not have a gift tax
*To be indexed for inflation annually


Our attorneys provide comprehensive estate and tax planning services, with a particular focus on estate tax planning. We have solutions for estates of all sizes, from families whose total wealth may just trigger estate taxes to clients with multimillion-dollar estates who need advanced tax planning. Arrange a free consultation today.

Federal Estate Tax Lawyers Helping People With Estate Taxes in Massachusetts

The Massachusetts estate tax is independent of the federal estate tax. Even if you or "your estate" is exempt from federal estate taxes, your estate could be subject to Massachusetts estate tax, which applies to estates valued at $1 million (without exclusions). While the federal government taxes only the amount over the threshold, Massachusetts taxes the entire estate if it exceeds the threshold even by a single dollar. The state tax rate starts at 2 percent, but increases to a maximum of 16 percent.

Boston Tax Attorneys Offering Sophisticated Solutions

It is not always possible to escape state or federal estate taxes entirely, but it is very possible, to substantially lower them. Our team of experienced tax lawyers employs various revocable and irrevocable trusts to defer taxes or reduce the taxable portion of estates. We also advise on IRA planning and other methods for reducing the estate tax burden on your beneficiaries.