An estate tax or inheritance tax is a tax on the privilege of transferring property to others after a person's death. In addition to federal estate taxes, many states have their own estate taxes. Conservatives dislike estate taxes and call them death taxes.
The Federal and state governments levy estate taxes in the U.S. As per legislation passed in 2001 and 2003, the federal tax is zero in 2010, and returned to 55% on sums over $2 million in 2011. There will be no tax on the first $1 million.
There is no tax on money given to charity.
There is no tax on money received from a life insurance policy on a deceased.