I'm not asking here whether this should be done or not and not going to argue here that it's fair/unfair.

Currently in most (if not all) market economy countries people are allowed to inherit property. Are there some of them that are limiting inheritance? Was there any attempt for it? If no why? Is it considered as undemocratic?

Edit: while I could find info about Google on taxes, I don't consider tax as real limit. It is either percentage (or even fixed) payment. Nothing other that Google says me about inheritance.

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    Isn't it what estate/inheritance taxes are about? – Relaxed Nov 14 '17 at 7:50
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    People have been evading inheritance taxes for many decades. It would be even more easy for the rich to mask the transfer of property to their children these days. – JonathanReez Nov 14 '17 at 8:11
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    Do you mean setting absolute limits of how much can be transfered to single person? 'consider as undemocratic' is not well defined - considered by whom? Technically, democracy is a form of legislation, so no law is undemocratic per se. – user14448 Nov 14 '17 at 10:47
  • @9ilsdx9rvj0lo I'm interested in those too. What I meam by 'considered as undemocratic' is that non-inheritance can be thought as something communist by some people. – rus9384 Nov 14 '17 at 10:51
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    @MichaelRichardson Any well run farm would file as an LLC or already be a part of a company, with all holdings in the company belonging to a singular person. Estate taxes don't apply to family owned companies, only to individuals. – Anoplexian Nov 14 '17 at 17:43


Many (but not all) countries have some form of estate or inheritance tax on a deceased person's assets. For example the UK has an inheritance tax; but Sweden does not, having abolished the tax in 2004.

In countries which levy an inheritance tax, typically all assets below a certain threshold are exempt. There may also be exemptions for family businesses, farms, or inheritance by a spouse. The rate of taxation also varies. The UK rate peaked at 85% in 1969, but has since been reduced to 40%.

As usual for international tax law, the details are complex. A simplified summary for 37 countries makes up a 400-page document (PDF link).

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    It might not answer OPs questions, depending on what was meant by 'limit'. You still can inherit unlimited amount of goods, only a percentual part of it is taken by the state. – user14448 Nov 14 '17 at 10:44

There have been some academic proposals (e.g. of Haslett) for an inheritance quota, e.g. limit inheritance to $100,000 in the US. (For a freely available paper summarizing it, see Guibet Lafaye). Oddly enough, Haslett would still allow unlimited gifts between spouses, so the quota would essentially be only inter-generational, assuming it isn't somehow bypassed by a weird new system of [chain] marriages. In any case, in order to be effective, such a system would also have to cap the total sum of [non-trivial] gifts one may receive in their lifetime.

And there have been proposals for 100% inheritance tax, which is equivalent to a quota of $0 [not counting gifts though]. Ok, the actual proposal called for allowing some objects of "sentimental value" to be inherited, which one might describe as a sentimental-value quota. Neither are implemented in any countries, as far as I know. The author of the latter article actually admits her proposal is unrealistic.

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