Americans favor repealing the death tax not because they think it will help them directly. They’re more principled than that. Two-thirds of the public wants to repeal it because they think taxing a lifetime of thrift due to the accident of death is unfair, and even immoral. They also understand that the really rich won’t pay the tax anyway because they hire lawyers to avoid it.
One of the best summaries advocating the repeal of the death tax. The man or woman on the street understands these issues and that is why repealing the death tax makes sense to them.