At death, all property of the decedent is included in the gross estate for estate tax. Taxable gifts made after 1976 are added to the total. The estate is allowed deductions for funeral expenses, administrative expenses, decedent’s debts, and state death taxes. Most property passing to a surviving spouse or charity is also fully deductible.

Estate tax is due if the net estate is more than the estate tax exclusion for the year of death ($11,180,000 in 2018). The estate receives a credit for gift tax payable by the donor during life… READ MORE