Estate PlanningProbate

Washington Legal Changes Impacting Estate Planning

By July 11, 2013 No Comments

I want to update you on recent changes regarding Washington estate tax law. These changes were widely reported in the news, so they may be familiar to you. On June 13, 2013 Governor Inslee signed “emergency legislation” regarding our Washington estate tax.  The alleged emergency was preventing the state’s Department of Revenue from issuing estate tax refund checks.  Here is the text of this of this new statute, House Bill 2075.

In summary, this new law:

  • Effectively overrules a Washington Supreme Court case referred to as the “Estate of Bracken.” This case concerned the Washington estate tax liability of certain terminable interest property (“QTIP”) of married couples.
  • Increases Washington estate tax rates to a top rate of 20%.
  • Indexes the “applicable exclusion amount” for Washington estate tax (currently $2 million dollars) for inflation beginning in 2014.
  • Creates a qualifying small business deduction from any Washington estate tax that may be owed. The details of this deduction are outlined in Section 3 of House Bill 2075. If you have a small business, please review this section carefully and be sure to ask us if you have any questions.

If you have questions about any aspect of this new legislation, please feel free to contact my office for more details. We’d be pleased to assist you.


This post is for informational purposes and does not contain or convey legal advice. The information herein should not be used or relied upon in regard to any particular facts or circumstances without first consulting with an attorney.

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