2019 State Estate and Gift Tax Cheat Sheet

States vary in whether and how they tax transfers of property.  A gift tax is imposed on property transferred while the donor is still alive.  Estate taxes are imposed on the transfers of property after the decedent’s death.  Below is a summary of certain estate and gift tax laws applicable to New York, Connecticut, New Jersey and California residents.

New York

  • Gift Tax: No.
  • Estate Tax: Yes.
  • Rate: Top rate is 16%.
  • Exemption Amount: Currently $5,740,000. The gift and estate taxes are unified, but subject to “cliff” for taxable estates in excess of 105% of exemption amount.


  • Gift Tax: Yes.
  • Estate Tax: Yes.
  • Rate: Top rate is 12%.
  • Exemption Amount: Currently $3,600,000. The gift and estate taxes are unified.  Thus, lifetime gifts deplete the exemption available at death. Exemption scheduled to increase as follows:
    • Beginning 1/1/2020, will increase to $5,100,000.
    • Beginning 1/1/2021, will increase to $7,100,000.
    • Beginning 1/1/2022, will increase to $9,100,000.
    • Beginning 1/1/2023, will match Federal exemption in effect at that time.

New Jersey

  • New Jersey has no state gift or estate tax.[1]


  • California has no state gift or estate tax.


Updated January 2019

[1] New Jersey does, however, still have an inheritance tax, which applies to transfers to beneficiaries other than charities, and spouses, children, grandchildren, and parents of the decedent.

Wealthspire Advisors is the common brand and trade name used by Sontag Advisory LLC and Wealthspire Advisors, LP, separate registered investment advisers and subsidiary companies of NFP Corp.
This information should not be construed as a recommendation, offer to sell, or solicitation of an offer to buy a particular security or investment strategy. The commentary provided is for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon for accounting, legal, or tax advice. While the information is deemed reliable, Wealthspire Advisors, LP cannot guarantee its accuracy, completeness, or suitability for any purpose, and makes no warranties with regard to the results to be obtained from its use. © 2019 Wealthspire Advisors

Nicole Hart, J.D.

Nicole Hart is head of our trusts & estates department and works in our New York office.