Many METARs have net worth (including real estate) which can make their estates subject to estate tax. Even if the estate is too small to be subject to federal estate tax it may be subject to significant state estate tax.
Seventeen states and Washington, D.C., have estate or inheritance taxes or both. The rules can change from year to year.
By Ashlea Ebeling, The Wall Street Journal, Nov. 18, 2023
…While the federal estate tax hits only the wealthiest Americans, the thresholds for state estate and inheritance taxes are generally much lower. These taxes can cost heirs tens of thousands of dollars they aren’t expecting to pay, along with the grief of figuring out how to pay the bill when the bulk of an estate’s value is tied up in a house or business. The problem is especially acute now because of the recent meteoric rise in real-estate values…
Estate taxes get levied at rates of up to 20% on estates over a certain threshold, known as the exemption amount. Estate-tax exemption amounts vary from $1 million to $12.92 million.
Inheritance taxes are slightly different. They aren’t levied on the estate, but the heirs. The much lower exemption amounts and tax rates depend on the heir’s relationship to the deceased…There is no estate or inheritance tax when assets are left to a spouse who is a U.S. citizen…
In many states, for married couples to take full advantage of the exemption amounts for both spouses, their estate plans have to include trusts known as credit shelter trusts… [end quote]
Every state and situation is different. Research your own situation. I set up a credit shelter trust.