An inheritance tax calculator is available on the Bankrate website as well as on Calculator.net. These calculators show an estimate of the federal tax that is due. There may be state taxes due as well, but these are typically much lower than federal tax rates, according to Calculator.net.
In order to estimate the estate tax that is due, it is necessary to calculate the total amount of assets and liabilities of the deceased person, reports Bankrate. Assets include cash, investments, real estate and other property. Charitable contributions offset the calculated amount of assets, reducing the taxable estate. Debts and certain other expenses reduce the taxable estate further.
Prior to an heir inheriting property or money, the government imposes an estate tax, explains Calculator.net. For 2015, the exclusion amount is $5.43 million per person. Any amount above this exclusion is subject to as much as a 40 percent tax rate. However, with the use of tax planners, many wealthy people are able to avoid paying this tax rate by making use of loopholes in tax law. For example, a surviving spouse is not subject to estate taxes when receiving assets from their deceased spouse and the exclusion amount does not include these assets, states Bankrate.