Caruthers & Caruthers, P.C.

             Attorneys At Law









                                                                                                               Celebrating our 100th year!







William F. Caruthers, II, Esq.                                                               

Pennsylvania Inheritance and Transfer Taxes

"In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes."

 - Benjamin Franklin













     Preserving the wealth you have worked so hard to create typically requires minimizing taxes. We can help you with estate planning to focus on the issues involved with your individual situation. Currently, the Federal Estate tax only effects individuals with taxable assets in excess of five million dollars or more, depending on the year.

     Pennsylvania is one of six states, however, that does have an inheritance tax. The Pennsylvania inheritance and transfer tax, as it is known, is a tax that beneficiaries of an decedent’s estate and recipients of other non-estate assets must pay based on a percentage of the value of their inherited or transferred assets. The person's relationship to the deceased determines the rate of the inheritance tax.

     Pennsylvania inheritance tax rates, depending on the recipient’s relationship to the decedent, are as follows:

  • For a living spouse or parent from a child who is age 21 or younger: 0 %;
  • For children, grandchildren, great grandchildren (direct descendants and lineal heirs): 4.5 %;
  • For siblings of the decedent: 12 %; and
  • For all other heirs and beneficiaries, unless statutorily exempt*: 15 %.

     Inheritance tax actually is due on the date of the decedent's death, but the tax is not overdue or delinquent until nine months past the date of death. When the tax is paid within three months of the decedent's death, there is a 5 % discount.

     Navigating through the legal maze of different tax rates and treatments regarding joint accounts, IRA accounts, life insurance proceeds, trusts, in-trust-for accounts, life estates, business assets and entities, farmland, and other types of probate and non-probate assets is difficult and often confusing. Contact our office to plan now so inheritance taxes are kept to a minimum to preserve for your family the wealth you have worked for all your life. If a loved one has passed away contact us so we can guide you through this maze to make sure you keep the taxes due to a minimum.


 *Charitable organizations, exempt institutions and government entities exempt from tax.





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Lady Justice





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