Assets over $1 Million
If your assets total over $1 million, you are in a special situation in Massachusetts.
This is because MA has an estate tax law that requires payment of tax if the estate is over that amount and if no deduction is otherwise available.
These deductions are the marital deduction and the charitable deduction.
To determine if you'll pay estate tax, start with your MA Gross Estate. This is roughly everything you own.
Except that assets you own overseas may not be part of your MA Gross Estate. A recent case held that a Paris apartment was NOT part of the MA Gross Estate.
There is some debate whether real estate you own out of Massachusetts is part of your MA Gross Estate. Experts suggest you mention the asset in your MA Estate Tax return - the M706 form - and then state you do not believe it is properly part of othe MA Gross Estate.