Forbes:  “While the federal estate tax has temporarily lapsed for 2010, 19 states still take a bite out of their residents' estates.  Although Congress has let the federal estate tax lapse for 2010, your estate might still be subject to a state levy at your death. The feds are trying to work out a compromise to bring the federal tax back, maybe retroactively to Jan. 1, and with at least $3.5 million in wealth exempt per person. But some states tax far smaller estates and these laws aren't going away.  Currently, 19 states and the District of Columbia impose their own estate and/or inheritance taxes.”