Estate taxes are taxes paid on the total value of the deceased person's assets. Texas is a community property state, so if a couple's assets total $4,000,000, the deceased spouse's estate is $2,000,000. In 2016 the deceased person's estate value would have to exceed $5,450,000.00 before any estate taxes are owed. That's good news, because not many single people have more than $5,450,000 and not that many married couples jointly own more than $10,900,000. The estate tax law that applies is the estate tax amount at the time of decedent’s death; not at the time the decedent made his or her Last Will and Testament.