Yes, I know this is the North Carolina Estate Planning Blog, but in these troubled economic times, with most states, including NC, desperate for cash, this could be a sign of things to come here and elsewhere.
Washington currently has a $2 million estate tax exemption, with rates ranging from 10% to 19%. A bill was introduced in the state legislature on February 13 to double the rates (20% to 28%).
North Carolina's estate tax is tied to the federal estate tax, so there is no tax this year. It will return next year, however, when the federal estate tax is back, with a scheduled $1 million exemption and 55% rate. North Carolina's top rate is 16%.