The federal estate tax is also sometimes known as the “death tax”. This is a federal tax imposed upon estates in which the assets total greater than $5.43 million for individuals who are single at the time of their death. No death taxes are imposed on estates where a person leaves all assets to a surviving spouse.
Surprisingly, the federal death tax affects very few people. In 2013 over 2.5 million people died and only approximately 4,600 of them had taxable estates. That’s less than .2% of the people who died.
I hope for each of my clients that at the time of their death that they are in the lucky 200th of a percent (.2%) of the population who dies with a federally taxable estate.