As of 2015, the federal estate tax exemption amount is $5,430,000. This means if the decedent's estate was valued at $5,430,000 or less at the time of his death, his beneficiary does not have to pay federal tax on the inheritance, according to About.com.
Individuals with questions on whether estate tax is owed should consult an estate planning attorney. An inheritance that is not subject to federal estate taxes may still be subject to state estate taxes. Sixteen states collect estate taxes. Whether or not the estate is subject to estate taxes depends on where the decedent lived, not on where the person who inherits the estate lives, explains About.com.