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Probate &
Estate Planning

Probate Administration
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Estate Planning
Estate Taxes
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Estate Taxes

NJ Estate Taxes Imposed on Estates Over $675,000

A New Jersey estate tax return is required when the decedent's gross estate plus adjusted taxable gifts exceeds $675,000. The New Jersey estate tax return must be filed within nine months of the decedent's death or nine months plus 30 days if the Form 706 is filed. Federal estate tax returns are required only for estates that are worth more than $5.34 million as of 2014. The value of a New Jersey estate is calculated adding up the total assets owned at death including:

  • Real estate located in New Jersey
  • Bank accounts and certificates of deposit
  • Automobiles and other personal property
  • Retirement accounts
  • Investments and securities
  • Proceeds from life insurance policies
  • Small business interests (LLCs, sole proprietorship, small corporation)

For New Jersey estate tax purposes, it doesn't matter if your assets pass through probate or through a living trust upon your death. Real estate held in a revocable living trust, a retirement account with a beneficiary, a jointly held bank account – they all get counted.

Property that is left behind to a spouse or a civil union partner are exempt from the New Jersey estate tax, regardless of the amount. However, this is different from federal law, which does not treat same-sex couples, whether or not they are legally married under state law or civil union partners, the same as married couples.

The greatest deduction for most people is the marital deduction, which allows you to subtract any amount left to a spouse. If you leave all of your property to your spouse, you won't own any tax. Other valuable deductions include funeral costs, attorney fees, and outstanding income tax bills among others. If the deductions can reduce the total value of your estate below $675,000, then the executor won't have to cut a check for state estate tax.

Simplified Forms for Estates

There are two types of estate tax returns in New Jersey. The simplified form for estates that don't also have to file a federal estate tax return and a regular estate tax return for larger estates. The simpler form is due within nine months of the decedent's death, whereas the regular form is due within nine months and 30 days after the death. Any tax that is due must be paid when the return is due and interest accrues at a rate of 10% per annum (each year) until it is paid.

Federal and estate tax returns are complicated and an executor will need to speak with an attorney to prepare them correctly. Just a few reasons why I am qualified to help you:

  • I have over 30 years of experience in estate planning and probate.
  • I was selected for inclusion in New Jersey's Super Lawyers®.
  • I am BV Distinguished® by Martindale-Hubbell®.
  • I offer free consultations to all prospective clients.

As a seasoned Haddon Heights estate planning lawyer, I can answer all of your questions and assist you with the process of preparing state and federal estate tax returns. Contact me at Harris Law Offices to arrange a free consultation at (856) 681-0429.

Harris Law Offices
Harris Law Offices - Haddon Heights Estate Planning Attorney
2 White Horse Pike,
Haddon Heights, NJ 08035.
Phone: (856) 310-9500.
Website: .
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