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Do You Have to Pay Excise Tax to Transfer Real Estate into a Trust?

I had a conversation with a potential client today that asked me about whether or not excise taxes had to be paid on a real estate transfer into a revocable living trust.

So I thought I’d answer that question right here.

First, let’s define excise tax.

At it’s most basic, excise tax is a sales tax on a real estate transaction.

When real estate is sold, a tax is owed. Pretty straightforward.

Second, however, it is important to note that there are several exceptions to the excise tax (if you want to see them just google “WA state excise tax exemptions”).

Third, and finally, now that we know this information we know that a transfer into a revocable living trust IS in fact exempt from Washington State excise tax (generally – translation = talk to someone before you go and make a mess of something like this!).

That’s it. Simple answer but important answer.

Cheers,

Christopher Small
Estate Planning Attorney

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