Possible Increase to Washington State Estate Tax Exemption Amount

The Washington State estate tax exemption is currently $2.193 million. The exemption amount is meant to be adjusted for inflation, but it has not changed since 2018. That is because the inflation adjustment is tied to a Washington law that needs updating. A new bill was recently introduced to address this problem.

The Washington law at issue, RCW 83.100.020, refers to the consumer price index for the Seattle-Tacoma-Bremerton metropolitan area when defining how the inflation adjustment should be made. The intent was for the exemption amount to rise in conjunction with the CPI for the Seattle-Tacoma-Bremerton area. However, that specific index has not existed since 2018, so until the statute is revised (for example, to refer to the current Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue Index), the exemption remains fixed at $2.193 million.

House Bill 1484 was recently introduced to correct this issue and revise RCW 83.100.020. If this bill is passed, the Washington state estate tax exemption will increase to $2.659 million on August 1, 2023. If passed, only gross estates of decedents dying on or after August 1, 2023 that exceed $2.659 million (rather than $2.193 million) will be required to file an estate tax return and may be subject to state estate taxes.

If you have any questions about Washington state estate taxes, please reach out to our estate planning attorneys including Ryan Montgomery, Kara Novak, Kaitlyn K. Perez, Allison Int-Hout, and Matthew Hart.


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