Federal and state governments have laws governing estate planning and probate. These laws typically cover the legal requirements of wills, the creation of trusts, the specifics of the probate process, and more. Governments have also enacted laws placing a tax burden on the recipients of property from an estate. For example, a number of states have “state estate taxes,” requiring the recipients of real estate or personal property to pay taxes on the inherited property. In addition, many states allow individuals to create living wills, dictating the healthcare treatment they wish to receive should they become too ill to make decisions on their own. This section offers resources and links to state laws on estate planning, living wills, and estate taxes.
Every state has laws that govern estate planning and probate procedures. Find your state's laws on will requirements, the creation and distribution of trusts, intestate succession, probate procedures, and more.