In this video, our Chicago estate tax attorneys takes the time to explain when to pay estate taxes on: inheritance taxes, state and federal estate taxes, and inherited retirement accounts. An inheritance tax is an amount of money due from a beneficiary who receives money or property from the estate of a deceased person. Inheritance taxes are due prior to receiving the inheritance check, so the amount received will already be reduced by the taxes owed. Federal tax exemption for a decedent’s estate depends on the exemption amount for the year of death. When it comes to state tax exemption, only a few states collect them, including Illinois. Similar to federal tax exemption, state tax exemption also depends on the exemption amount for the year of death. If an individual inherits a traditional IRA or 401k, he or she will have to include all distributions taken out in his or her ordinary federal income, and possibly state income, of that year. Inherited retirement assets are not taxable until they are distributed.