Estate Tax on Wrongful Death Claims?

Every state has a wrongful death act. Probate practitioners are probably familiar with their state’s version. Almost everywhere, though, the decedent’s personal representative must bring a wrongful death and survival action. And the general rule is that survival damages (for the decedent’s pain and suffering) go to the estate and are taxable.

But the wrongful death awards go to the next of kin for loss of society, consortium or support. These awards are not subject to estate tax. The

All access premium subscription

Your subscription will include 12 months of Trusts & Estates magazine and access to premium content on

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.