Colorado state tax laws requiring estate or inheritance tax are pretty simple. There is no estate or inheritance tax collected by the state. However, Colorado residents still need to understand federal estate tax laws.
If you have not updated your estate plan in the past few weeks or months, it may already be out of date. Many of the safeguards and tax-saving measures you put into place as a part of your estate plan may no longer be needed due to the extensive tax law changes -- the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) -- that came into effect on Jan. 1.
Estate administrators take notice: It doesn't matter if you're handling the assets of a virtually anonymous citizen or that of a celebrity like Michael Jackson, the government wants its cut.
If you are the beneficiary of an estate or property, you need to know what the laws are regarding estate taxes. Do you have to pay an estate or inheritance tax?
If you have had a loved one pass away, then you may have heard about taxation on the inheritance you receive. The main form of taxation is an estate tax. Estate taxes, as defined by the Colorado General Assembly, are those assessed when assets are transferred upon the death of a person. Until 2004, Colorado had an estate tax, but due to changes in federal laws, that tax was eliminated. Only about one-fourth of all states impose estate taxes due to the changes made by the federal government to the tax laws. Of course, future changes could reinstate the tax, and the federal government still charges estate taxes, so you may have to pay them in some form.
Like many in Denver, you likely worry that much of the estate that you have accumulated for the purpose of benefitting your spouse and/or your children once you are gone will be eaten up in the fees associated with administration. It is for this reason that you have likely done what is needed to avoid having your estate go to probate or accruing other costs. Yet one potential estate-related expense that many overlook is estate taxes.