The Internal Revenue Service excludes the first $5.43 million dollars of a person's estate from the federal estate tax as of 2015. Married couples are allowed to combine these deductions, making $10.86 million of their shared assets exempt from federal inheritance taxes.
While few households are subject to federal estate taxes, many states impose inheritance taxes that are more stringent. New Jersey currently has the lowest exemption for estate taxes, with only $675,000 dollars of an estate considered exempt. Some heirs are also subject to additional taxes on inheritances over $500, though children, spouses and certain other relatives are fully or partially exempt from this tax.