Estate Tax Legal Meaning and Definition

Here is a simplified definition of the legal term Estate Tax.

Estate Tax (noun):

An estate tax is generally a form of federal tax imposed on the property and assets that a deceased person leaves behind to their heirs and beneficiaries. This tax is based on the total value of the decedent's estate, which may include items from a trust at the time of death, or insurance proceeds. The tax usually applies only to amounts exceeding a specific value threshold (for example, $600,000). Some states may also have an estate tax, often called an inheritance tax.