The majority of states no longer have an estate tax, but North Carolina is not one of them. Hungry for revenue, some states, such as Connecticut, are trying to lower the tax threshold. I'm not aware of any such movement for North Carolina. Here's a chart of the states with an estate tax, with the exemption amounts:
Tennessee, not listed above, has an inheritance tax with a $1 million exemption. Inheritance tax differs from estate tax in that the rate differs depending on the relationship of the inheritor to the deceased. Immediate family member are subject to the lowest rate. While estate taxes raise revenue, of course, the taxes are often cause for wealthy individuals to move to states like Florida, which has no estate tax (and no income tax as well).
Note: the correct name of the source is the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (not Council).