What part of your estate is subject to estate taxes?

Generally, your gross estate, is equal to the total fair market value of each asset that you own. Your taxable estate is equal to your gross estate less the total value of your debts at death. Your debts include a mortgage on a home, credit card debts, unsecured loans, income taxes, etc., and other deductions (e.g., administrative expenses, debts related to your last illness, etc.). Then, your net taxable estate is computed by subtracting from your taxable estate the value of all property that passes (at your death) to your spouse or to charity. Your net taxable estate is subject to estate taxes.


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