Contrast this with an Estate Tax, which is a tax imposed by a state or the federal government based on the right to transfer a person's assets to his or her heirs after death. In other words, an estate tax is based on the overall value of the deceased person's estate, not on who inherits the estate.
To confuse matters even more, Tennessee imposes a state death tax that is based on the overall value of the deceased person's property but refers to the tax as an "Inheritance Tax" in its state statutes. Oregon used to call its state estate tax an "inheritance tax," but that changed on January 1, 2012, when the tax became known as what it is, an "estate tax." In either case, the applicable estate or inheritance tax is paid from the deceased person's assets.
The bottom line - the terms "death tax," "estate tax," and "inheritance tax" are used interchangeably to refer to a tax collected due to someone's death.
Refer to the State Inheritance Tax Chart for a summary of the inheritance tax laws of the following seven states that collect state inheritance taxes - Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Nebraska, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Refer to the State Estate Tax Chart for the list of states that currently collect a state estate tax and their state estate tax exemptions.