The money and property you own when you die (your estate) may be subject to federal estate tax. Most estates are not subject to the tax. Only about 2% of all estates are subject to the estate tax. An estate tax return generally will not be needed unless the estate is worth more than the applicable exclusion amount for the year of death. The estate tax is technically a tax on the transfer of property to others, generally to children of a decedent.
Estate taxes are different from, and in addition to, probate expenses and final income taxes owed on income the decedent earned in the year of his or her death. They also are separate from inheritance taxes that are collected by some states.
Most states impose their own estate taxes, usually as a "sponge tax" that piggybacks on the federal estate tax. The federal estate tax allows each estate a tax credit for any state inheritance or estate taxes paid, up to a maximum dollar amount.
NOTICE: The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertisements. Before you decide, ask the attorney to send you free written information about qualifications & experience.