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When a person dies, taxes may need to be paid on the person’s estate if the value of the estate is equal to or more than the amount set by law that year. For instance, only those who died in 2008, only those estates worth more than $2 million dollars must file an estate tax return. In 2009, only those estates worth more than $3.5 million dollars must file. Depending on the year of death, the estate tax could even be repealed altogether, or revised to a different amount, so make sure you check the filing requirements for the year of death in your situation. Also, calculating the value of the estate can sometimes be tricky because the IRS has special rules regarding what items count toward the value of the taxable estate. For returns that are due, they must generally be filed within 9 months after the date of death. If you think you will have an estate on which tax must be paid, or for more information, take a look at IRS Publication 559 and Form 706 which explain estate tax return requirements in more detail.