Washington does not impose an inheritance tax.
Washington imposes a "stand-alone" estate tax not dependent on the credit permitted for paid state estate and inheritance taxes under the federal tax code.
The exemption amount is $2,193,000 (subject to future indexing in 2025).
The tax rate is progressive, starting at 10% on the initial $1 million and increasing to 20% on the taxable estate over $9 million.
Estate tax deduction permitted for property used for farm purposes.
Washington state QTIP election permitted.
Washington does not impose a GST tax.
Washington does not impose a gift tax.
The minimum age of a person competent to make a will is 18.
The number of witnesses necessary to execute a will is two.
The original custodial gift may be a life insurance policy or annuity contract.
Custodial property may be invested in or used to pay premiums on (1) a policy on the minor's life if the minor's estate is the sole beneficiary, or (2) a policy on a third party in whom the minor has an insurable interest, if the minor or the custodian is the irrevocable beneficiary.
The custodial arrangement terminates when:
The minor child reaches age 21 for custodial transfers made by irrevocable lifetime gift, will, or trust, or exercise of power of appointment (donor may extend the terminating age to 25 under certain circumstances).
The minor child reaches age 18 in regard to other custodial transfers.
The minor child dies.
Each state describes its own distribution pattern of how property passes to a decedent's spouse, children, parents and siblings. If no such individuals are living, state laws specify other takers among more distant ancestors before awarding property to the state through "escheat" provisions. We do not trace devolution of property beyond those noted above, but cite appropriate statutes for those interested in additional detail.
Many states refer to their distribution regime by simply stating that the heirs of predeceased individuals take "by representation." We use only the statutory verbiage, but may cite other statutory guidance when it exists.
States vary in the way they refer to descendants, using such terms as "issue" or simply children or grandchildren. We use the term "descendant," unless usage of different term adds clarity.
Some states address situations where misconduct or abuse causes forfeiture of a right to receive a share of the estate. Those interested in this information should see the state statutes.
The estate goes to the surviving spouse or domestic partner (DP), as follows:
100% of the decedent's share of the net community estate
If no surviving descendants, parent(s) or descendants of parent(s)—100% of the separate estate
If the decedent is survived by descendants—50% of the net separate estate
If there are no surviving descendants, but the decedent is survived by parent(s), or by descendants of parent(s)—75% of the net separate estate
If there is no surviving spouse or DP, or if a portion of the estate does not go to the spouse or DP:
100% to descendants, equally if in the same degree of kinship, or if of unequal degree, by representation (see RCW §11.02.005(17))
If there is no surviving spouse/DP or descendant:
100% to surviving parent or parents equally
If there is no surviving spouse/DP, descendant or parent:
100% to surviving descendants of parents equally in the same degree of kinship to the decedent, or if of unequal degree, by representation (see RCW §11.02.005(13))
If none of the above:
Intestacy laws outline further distribution steps to the level of grandparents and related individuals. See RCW §11.04.015(2)(d), (e).
If no legally described recipient can be found, estate assets go to the state of Washington.
Click here for more information on intestacy.
Non-qualified Annuities: A total amount of $3,000 per month is protected.
Life Insurance Cash Value: Exempt from creditors of the insured or the original owner.
Life Insurance Proceeds: The interest of the beneficiary (not the insured or the original owner) is exempt from creditors of the insured or original owner. Also, proceeds are exempt from creditors of the beneficiary that exist at the time proceeds are made available.
Digital Assets: Washington follows the Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act to ensure that testators can retain control of their digital property and plan for its ultimate disposition.
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