estate tax

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Related to Estate taxes: State estate tax

Estate tax

A federal or state tax imposed on an individual's assets inherited by heirs.

Estate Tax

A tax on the assets a deceased person leaves behind. These assets include all personal property, real estate, securities and other things. In the United States, the estate tax is applied to the value of an estate that remains after all the debts of the deceased are paid, if the value of the estate exceeds a certain amount, which is always over $1 million. The estate tax should not be confused with an inheritance tax, which is a tax on the income one receives from an estate.

estate tax

A tax on the estate of the deceased before any distribution is made to the heirs. A federal unified gift and estate tax provides an exemption before any tax is paid. Although some states also levy an estate tax, it is generally at a much lower rate than the federal tax. Also called death tax. Compare inheritance tax.

Estate tax.

Your estate owes federal estate tax on the value of your taxable estate if the estate is larger than the amount you are permitted to leave to your heirs tax free.

That amount, which is set by Congress, is $2 million for 2006, 2007, and 2008 and is scheduled to increase to $3.5 million in 2009.

Under current law, the estate tax will be eliminated in 2010. Without further Congressional action, the tax will be reinstated in 2011. However, modifications to the law may be made before that date.

If your estate may be vulnerable to these taxes, which are figured at a higher rate than income taxes, you may want to reduce its value. You could do this by using a number of tax planning strategies, including making nontaxable gifts and creating irrevocable trusts.

Further, if you're married to a US citizen and leave your entire estate to your spouse, there are no estate taxes, no matter how much the estate is worth. However, estate taxes may be due when your surviving spouse dies.

You may also face estate taxes in your state.

estate tax

A tax imposed on the value of the estate of a decedent.The conceptual justification is premised on a peculiarly American notion that it is undesirable for generations to accumulate wealth by passing it to each other in a manner similar to that of English aristocracy and that each generation should make its own mark and earn its own way. As a result, it is considered advantageous to remove wealth from each generation by way of estate taxes and use the money for the common good.For details,see Publication 554,“Survivors,Executors and Administrators”available at the IRS Web site,

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The need for effective estate planning, particularly the role of permanent life insurance, continues to burn brightly, despite the uncertainty surrounding federal estate taxes.
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Administration of L's residue estate includes the payment of estate taxes and legal fees ordinarily payable therefrom.
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Taxpayers have the right to minimize their estate taxes by taking advantage of provisions the law allows, such as a QTIP.
Since the children don't want to sell the real estate in a short period of time, they take a withdrawal of $2 million to pay the estate taxes.
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According to IRS figures, approximately 1 percent of all inheritances in 1995 were subject to estate taxes.
The more obvious obstacles include funeral expenses, administration costs and estate taxes.