Writing in the Spectator, the conservative (and that's an understatement) economist Irving Stelzer provides one of the most succint and powerful defence of inheritance tax.
An inheritance tax is not a death duty. The slogan ‘No taxation without respiration’ is too clever by half. Even a Chancellor of the Exchequer as powerful as the previous occupant of the office could not get a corpse to sign a cheque. It is a tax paid by the recipient of this income, the inheritor, the lucky winner in the sperm lottery.
P.S: Hat tip to Iain Sharpe.