The following factors may result in lower estate taxes (or no tax liability at all):
Depending on the number of exemptions claimed on the final tax return, the taxable portion of the estate may be reduced so low that no taxes are owed.
Assets left to a legally-married surviving spouse, whether an opposite-sex or same-sex partner, pass on to the spouse free of federal and Rhode Island estate tax.
Assets held in trust.
In most cases, assets in irrevocable trusts are exempt from estate taxes.
Small cash gifts.
Cash gifts or donations over $14,000 per year may be taxable unless the gifts are given to a spouse or an eligible charity.