Estate Law Questions? Ask an Estate Lawyer.
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There is no inheritance tax to a beneficiary in the state of California, estate and gift tax is paid by the grantor or the grantor's estate. Each person can give away $15,000 per year, per person without any gift tax implications. Each person has a lifetime exemption of $5.43 million (meaning all lifetime gifts plus the value of the estate at death has to be more than that amount before estate/gift tax is due by the grantor). So unless your mother's estate was very significant, it is unlikely that any estate tax would be due by your mother.
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