Whether you’re planning for the future and how you’d like your assets dispersed among your survivors, or you’re dealing with an inheritance situation right now, you probably have some questions as to how Ohio’s inheritance laws work—especially in terms of taxes. Inheritance estate taxes are a legitimate concern for people with assets they wish to leave to family members or other persons.
While many know that Ohio eliminated estate and inheritance taxes in 2013, an Ohio resident could still incur an inheritance tax under certain circumstances, such as if they inherit money from an individual who lived in one of the six existing states that still have inheritance taxes. As of this writing, these states include Iowa, Kentucky, Iowa, Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, and Nebraska. Note that Iowa is scheduled to eliminate its estate tax in 2025.
An estate tax is applied to a property or other assets when the original owner dies in a state with an estate tax. Similarly, inheritance tax appears when someone inherits property or other assets from a resident of a state with an inheritance tax. For example, suppose an Ohio resident inherits property from Pennsylvania. In that case, one of the six states that have an inheritance tax—the state of Pennsylvania will impose an inheritance tax on the Ohio resident. However, Pennsylvania does not have an estate tax, so that would not be levied.
As another example, say an Ohio resident inherits a retirement account from someone from a state with an inheritance tax, such as Nebraska. The beneficiary living in Ohio will have to pay that inheritance tax to Nebraska, where the deceased lived. An Ohio estate tax would not be levied.
While Ohio may not have an estate tax, other taxes might apply after an Ohio resident passes on. For instance, any retirement accounts held by a deceased Ohio resident are considered assets and would become subject to income tax. Likewise, the beneficiary of a deceased’s IRA or a 401(K) account will be required to pay income tax for the money they withdraw.
Some IRA and 401(K) plans may have after-tax contributions. These would not be taxed upon withdrawal. However, withdrawal rules can sometimes get complicated and are different when applied to surviving spouses rather than other beneficiaries. In this situation, the best thing to do would be to consult a qualified estate attorney to help navigate withdrawals and associated taxes.
Roth plans differ from the IRA and 401(K) plans in that Roth funds have already been taxed. Despite that, under certain circumstances, a beneficiary might still incur an income tax from that inherited asset. This is another situation where it is highly recommended you check with an experienced estate attorney to discuss what taxes come into play and what do not.
It’s important to remember that even though Ohio does not have an estate or an inheritance tax, Ohio residents might have family members or other potential beneficiaries living in states that do levy an inheritance tax. Likewise, an Ohio resident could inherit an out-of-state retirement account subject to inheritance tax or state and federal income taxes.
In any situation where the tax laws become confusing, your best bet is to talk with an estate attorney about what assets are subject to what taxes and from where. When you’re planning your estate, you’re going to want to save yourself and your survivor’s needless worry and expense.
Good news. Estates worth less than $11.18 million do not have to pay federal estate taxes.
Having an experienced legal team that understands all the ins and outs of estate planning is your best move. Whether you’re looking to untangle issues surrounding taxation, creation of trusts, writing wills, or anything else involved with estate planning, you’re going to want to speak with a qualified estate attorney.
When you do, take this time to draft all of your estate documentation simultaneously. This will save you considerable time and expense in the long run.
Setting up your legal documents ahead of time will allow you to set up your estate in such a way that everything works in tandem. Establishing your will and executor early can eliminate confusion later on. If you’re looking to establish trusts to support people or groups after you’ve gone, you can get all the legal language and other concerns sorted out, thus providing you with peace of mind about the future.
To learn more, don’t hesitate to give Heban, Murphree & Lewandowski, LLC a call, (419) 662-3100. Our experienced legal teams can answer any question you may have about estate planning, inheritance taxes, setting up wills and trusts, and estate administration. They can help get you started right away on planning for the future.