Research guides

Pennsylvania Wills, Trusts, and Estates

Taxes

An estate tax is "[a] tax imposed on the transfer of property by will or by intestate succession." An inheritance tax is "[a] tax imposed on a person who inherits property from another." Tax, Black's Law Dictionary (11th ed. 2019).

In Pennsylvania, "[t]he right to give or receive property by will or intestacy is not a natural right, but a creature of statutory grant; inheritance tax is the price assessed by the state for allowing a legatee, devisee, or heir to inherit. Inheritance tax is not really a tax at all in the ordinary meaning of the word, but rather a distributive share of the estate which the state retains for itself, or a toll on the passing of the property by reason of death." 30 Standard Pennsylvania Practice 2d § 147:2 (2018).

Generally, Pennsylvania statutes on inheritance taxes are found at 72 P.S. §§ 9101-9196. Additional estate-related tax laws may be included in other areas of the Pennsylvania Statutes. Use the index volumes or conduct a search to find relevant statutes. For where to find Pennsylvania statutes, see the Pennsylvania Statutes guide.

The resources listed below are a selection of the secondary materials related to estate and inheritance taxes in Pennsylvania. It may be beneficial to also look at the resources listed in the Estate Practice & Planning page of this guide. Additional material may be available at Jenkins. Search the Jenkins' catalog for estate tax* and inheritance tax* and limit the location to Pennsylvania for a more detailed list.

Forms

The following resources include sample forms regarding taxes related to Pennsylvania wills, trusts, and estates.

Dunlap-Hanna Pennsylvania Forms LexisNexis
Also available on the library's Lexis computers.
See Chapter 77: Inheritance Taxes.

Pennsylvania Transaction Guide: Legal Forms LexisNexis
Also available on the library's Lexis computers. Also referred to as Bongiovanni.
See Wills & Trusts, volumes 5-7 (chapters 60-119). Each chapter includes information regarding related tax laws.

Research Tip

Forms may also be included in the other resources listed on this page.

Member Databases

The following member database includes information regarding taxes related to Pennsylvania wills, trusts, and estates. Members must be logged in to jenkinslaw.org to access this database. This database is also available in the library.

Pennsylvania Law Encyclopedia
Available on the LexisNexis Digital Library. See "Taxation" Chapter 14: Inheritance and Estate Tax, §§481-521 (vol. 48).
Also on the library's Lexis computers and in print.

Onsite Print & Electronic

The following print resources include information regarding taxes related to Pennsylvania wills, trusts, and estates. Some resources published by LexisNexis and West/Thomson Reuters may be available on the library's Lexis and Westlaw computers. See below for more information.

Dunlap-Hanna Pennsylvania Forms LexisNexis
Also available on the library's Lexis computers.
See Chapter 77: Inheritance Taxes.

Pennsylvania Estates Practice Thomson Reuters
See Chapter 8: Pennsylvania Death Taxes.

Pennsylvania Fiduciary Guide: A Handbook for Executors and Administrators Bisel
See Chapter 13: Pennsylvania Inheritance, Estate and Income Taxes and Chapter 14: Federal Estate and Incomes Taxes. Library also has previous editions: see all.

Pennsylvania Inheritance and Estate Tax Bisel
Includes forms. Library also has previous editions: see all.

Pennsylvania Law Encyclopedia LexisNexis
Also available on the library's Lexis computers and the LexisNexis Digital Library.
See "Taxation" Chapter 14: Inheritance and Estate Tax (§§481-521). Library also has previous edition: see all.

Pennsylvania Orphans' Court Commonplace Book Bisel
Also referred to as Hunter's. See "Estate Tax", "Income Tax", "Inheritance Tax", and "Personal Property Taxes". Library also has previous edition: see all.

Pennsylvania Probate and Estate Administration West
Also available on the library's Westlaw computers.
Use the table of contents and index to find relevant chapters. Topics include Pennsylvania Inheritance Tax, Federal Estate Tax Return, and Final Income Tax Return for Decedent. Library also has previous editions: see all.

Pennsylvania Special Needs Planning Guide: A Handbook for Trustees of Special Needs Trusts and Their Advisors Bisel
See Chapter 8: Taxation of Special Needs Trusts.

Pennsylvania Transaction Guide: Legal Forms LexisNexis
Also available on the library's Lexis computers. Also referred to as Bongiovanni.
See Wills & Trusts, volumes 5-7 (chapters 60-119). Each chapter includes information regarding related tax laws.

Pennsylvania Trust Guide: A Handbook for Trustees and Their Advisors Bisel
See Chapter 11: Taxation of Trusts. Library also has previous editions: see all.

Standard Pennsylvania Practice West
Also available on the library's Westlaw computers.
See Chapter 147: Pennsylvania Inheritance and Estate Tax. Library also has previous edition.

PBI Publications

In conjunction with its continuing legal education courses, the Pennsylvania Bar Institute (PBI) produces many books each year covering various estate and elder law topics. Some of these concentrate on more specific or unusual areas of the law. When a researcher has difficulty finding an answer in the manuals or form books, it is a good idea to turn to a PBI publication for guidance.

18th Annual Estate & Elder Law Symposium
See Chapter C: PA Income Taxes for Trusts; Chapter E: Tax Reduction Strategies for the PA Inheritance Tax; and Chapter I: Entering and Exiting Estate Planning Strategies in the Current Tax Law Environment.

20th Annual Elder Law Institute
See Chapter K: Trusts and Transfer Taxes in Pennsylvania.

20th Annual Estate & Elder Law Symposium
See Chapter D: Preparing Pennsylvania Fiduciary Income Tax Return and Chapter H: Preparing the PA Inheritance Tax Returns.

24th Annual Estate Law Institute
See Chapter G: Preparing Inheritance Tax Returns (includes forms); Chapter J: Partnerships & Corporate Taxes for the Estate Planning Lawyer; Chapter O: Taxation of Trust Income by Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Other Key States; Chapter S: PA Inheritance Tax - Counsel Your Clients to Pay as Little as Possible; Chapter W: Preparing the U.S. Fiduciary Litigation.

25th Annual Estate Law Institute
See Chapter B: Fiduciary Income Tax in Estate Administration; Chapter J: Preparing the Pennsylvania Fiduciary Income Tax Return; Chapter N: Pennsylvania Inheritance Tax - A Review of the Past 10+ Inheritance Tax Programs; Chapter U: Preparing the PA Inheritance Tax Returns; and Chapter CC: Federal Estate, Gift and GST Taxes.

Administering an Estate in Pennsylvania: A Step-by-Step Guide
See Chapter 3: Tax Returns.

Elder Law Institute 2019
See Chapter HH: The Latest Tax Developments Elder Law Attorneys Need to Understand.

End-of-Year Tax, Business & Estate Law Strategies
Includes forms.

Estate Law Institute 2019
See Chapter E: PA Inheritance Tax on Trusts and Making the Future Interest Comprise, Chapter I: Preparing the PA Inheritance Tax Return, Chapter M: Pennsylvania Inheritance Tax Update, Chapter Z: Lessons Learned: Top 5 Trust Strategies for Business Owners After One Year of Tax Reform, Chapter AA: Fiduciary Income Tax Refresher, Chapter FF: Federal Tax Update, and Chapter HH: The Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017 - Impact on Lawyers and The Advice That They Give.

Estate Planning in Pennsylvania
See Chapter 5: Tax Planning.

How to Prepare the Fiduciary Income & Decedent's Final Lifetime Income Tax Returns
Includes forms. Library also has previous editions: see all.

How to Prepare the Pennsylvania Inheritance Tax Return
Includes forms. Library also has previous editions: see all.

My Client's Dead, Now What?
See Chapter 6: Inheritance Tax. Library also has previous editions: see all.

Taxes Affecting Decedents' Estates
Includes forms.