As described in an earlier blog, the estate tax is simply a one-time tax that some people have to pay upon their deaths. It is based on the net value of this person’s total assets, so it includes things like bank accounts, real estate, and stocks. This tax is based on whether or not your total net worth is more than about 11.6 million dollars. If your sum is less than that amount, then you are not charged a death tax. If your sum is more than that, you will be taxed a percentage of 40% for any surplus amount.