Well, the estate tax can hardly be considered a bright side to death, but for most people, it won't make matters worse. In 2009, the estate tax was paid by:
0.23 percent of estates
As the Tax Policy Center's analysis shows, the fraction of estates this tax affects is at a historical low. And this year, unless Congress acts, a lingering provision from the Bush tax cuts means that there is no estate tax at all. But even in 2011, when the estate tax returns at a higher rate, only a small group of the wealthiest Americans will pay it.