Gray Frame Corner

How to Avoid Estate Taxes: 16 Countries with No Death Tax

In this web story, we discuss how you can avoid estate taxes, also commonly referred to as the death tax. After all, if you’ve followed all of the tax laws properly during your life, why should some government get a final swipe at your estate?


Estate taxes matter for wealthy individuals, with both federal and state governments targeting substantial wealth in the United States. As a young entrepreneur, it's worth considering international options to safeguard your estate.

What is the Death Tax?

The U.S. has the fourth-highest estate tax globally at 40%, following Japan, South Korea, and France. Yet, fifteen OECD countries impose no death tax on close family, emphasizing the need for strategic financial planning to minimize or eliminate estate taxes.

Estate Tax Rates Around the World

Australia ended inheritance tax in 1979, yet inherited assets face capital gains tax. It's a high-tax country despite no estate tax.

Countries with No Estate Taxes Australia

New Zealand's high taxes and isolation can be deterrents. However, there's no death tax, and estate filings require a tax ID. Residency demands a substantial investment, now at NZ$15 million due to immigration law changes.

New Zealand

Canada has no estate tax, potentially attractive for wealthy Americans. However, heirs face capital gains tax on asset transfers after death, with exceptions for a primary residence but potential taxes on other assets.


Estonia, a tax-friendly haven, abolished estate tax in 2014. Despite no death tax, gains from property gifts or inheritance are subject to income tax. Residence is accessible for entrepreneurs, but citizenship demands learning Estonian.


Mexico's estate tax is intricate, avoiding inheritance tax but using a donation process. Assets transfer tax-free to spouses or children, but stamp tax applies to property transfers to descendants with exemptions based on the minimum wage.


Hong Kong ditched inheritance tax in 2006 and now has no wealth, gift, or estate tax, even for foreign estates. Becoming a resident voids offshore tax benefits, necessitating careful planning.

Hong Kong

Macau, dubbed the "Las Vegas of Asia," offers residents tax perks. There's no income, gift, capital gains, or estate tax, but stamp duty may apply to property transfers.


Singapore residents, despite challenging residency requirements, enjoy a generous estate tax exemption since the city-state abolished death taxes in 2008, simplifying inheritance.


Luxembourg's estate tax is complex; EU laws link it to residence, with rates as low as 0%. Forced heirship ensures children get at least half the estate.


Norway, despite high taxes, abolished estate tax in 2014. The government saves surpluses, and while living there for tax reasons might not make sense, Norwegians benefit from no estate tax.


Portugal scrapped estate tax in 2004, making it attractive for British expats. No death tax, and non-EU citizens enjoy a ten-year income tax holiday. Immediate family inherits with no stamp duty, while others face a 10% duty. Portugal offers excellent tax benefits.


Serbia's estate tax varies, close family often exempt. Agricultural real estate up to two degrees tax-free. Despite lacking an "international lifestyle," it offers a low cost of living and relatively low taxes, appealing for immigration.


Slovakia, often overlooked, has no dividends, wealth, gift, or inheritance tax. Capital taxes apply on estate asset appreciation. Moderate fixed income tax rates at 19%.


The US and Sweden repealed estate taxes, with Sweden settling at 30%. Though the tax is gone, forced heirship laws ensure inheritance for spouses and children. Wealthy Swedes set up foundations in Europe to navigate loopholes.


Israel lacks an estate tax, but many citizens reside abroad, requiring international tax planning to avoid taxes elsewhere. Heavy capital gains taxes apply to sold assets in Israel.


Consider Vanuatu for tax savings – it doesn't tax income, corporate profits, or inheritances. While procedures are stricter, anyone can become a resident or economic citizen, legally paying zero tax if estate matters are resolved in their home country.


This web story emphasizes strategic importance for substantial wealth. Seek advice, diversify assets. Relocating to a tax haven simplifies life; for US citizens, renouncing citizenship with proper planning is an option.

Where to Move to Avoid Estate Taxes?

Ready to live a life of financial and personal freedom? Reduce your taxes legally while safeguarding your wealth for future generations with a holistic Nomad Capitalist Action Plan.


Our experienced team can help you legally reduce your tax rate offshore, protect your assets, invest overseas, obtain a second citizenship, and improve your peace of mind. We’ve helped 1,500+ HNWI entrepreneurs and investors and we can help you, too.

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