Estate Tax

Definition of Estate Tax

A tax imposed on the right to transfer property by death. Thus, an estate tax is levied on the decedent’s estate and not on the heir receiving the property. A tax levied on right to transmit property, while “inheritance tax” is levied on right to receive property. Allen v. Flournoy, 26 Cal.App.3d 774, 103 Cal.Rptr. 275, 277. The tax is based on value of the whole estate less certain deductions. I.R.C. § 2001 et seq. See also Inheritance tax; Unified transfer tax.

Many states have adopted the “Uniform Interstate Compromise of Death Taxes Act” or the “Uniform Interstate Arbitration of Death Taxes Act.”

That's the definition of Estate Tax in Black's Law Dictionary 6th Edition. Courtesy of