Slide Show | December 2013

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10 States With the Scariest Death Taxes

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Unless you're sitting on a very large pile of money, you don't need to worry about federal estate taxes. The 2014 exemption from federal estate taxes is $5.34 million โ€” and double that for married couples.

But state estate taxes? That's another story. Sixteen states and the District of Columbia impose an estate tax, and some kick in for estates valued at $1 million or less. At that level, estate taxes aren't just a problem for people who own private planes and beachfront property. Your home and retirement accounts will be counted when valuing your estate. Proceeds from your life insurance could be included, too, depending on how the policy is owned and who gets the money. Even if you live (and, well, die) in a state that doesn't have an estate tax, your estate could be nicked if you own property or other tangible assets (such as a plane or a boat) in a state that does.

Complicating matters further, some states impose an inheritance tax, which can force certain heirs to pony up a portion of the value of their inheritances.

Here's a look at the states that are the least friendly places to die.

10 States With the Scariest Death Taxes

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