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Estate and Gift Taxation

Estate and gift tax issues are an important factor in proper estate planning for anybody whose net worth exceeds $1,000,000.00. There are ways to minimize estate taxes via trusts, gifts and valuation discounts.

Any type of transmittal of financial value from the deceased person to other persons or entities is subject to estate taxation. Life insurance proceeds, business interests and lifetime gifts can be factored into the estate tax calculations.

For the estates of persons who died during 2021, a Federal Estate Tax Return (Form 706) has to be filed if the gross estate amounts to or exceeds $11,700,000.00.  For Massachusetts, the filing of a Massachusetts Estate Tax Return (Form M-706) is required beginning at a gross estate of $1,000,000.00, and Massachusetts strangely requires the preparation of a 1999 Federal Estate Tax Return to calculate the Massachusetts estate tax. These estate tax returns are due 9 months after the person’s death. Although the filing of the returns can be extended by 6 months, the tax is still due 9 months after death, and interest and penalties can run on any underpayments.

To force estates to file the required Massachusetts Estate Tax Return, a Massachusetts estate tax lien arises by operation of Massachusetts law on any Massachusetts real estate interest of the decedent, including a life estate. This Massachusetts estate tax lien has to be dealt with before the decedent’s real estate interests can be sold.  Therefore, any person who dies owning any interest in Massachusetts real estate has to deal with the Massachusetts estate tax, even if the decedent’s estate is worth less than $1,000,000.00.

For more on Estate and Gift Taxation, check out Attorney Barreira’s blog posts on the topic:


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For questions related to Estate and Gift Taxation, please use the Contact Form below or call the office of Brian E. Barreira at 508-747-8282 to schedule a personal appointment and, if travel is a problem for you, he can conduct a Zoom meeting with you.