33-11 Broadway, Suite 2, Fair Lawn, New Jersey 07410

Bergen County Estate and Inheritance Tax Lawyer 

Fair Lawn estates attorney helps clients with tax issues

It’s often said that the two things you can’t avoid are death and taxes, and in New Jersey, they might impact you simultaneously. At The Paton Law Firm, in Fair Lawn, I advise northern New Jersey residents about whether they need to pay federal estate tax or New Jersey inheritance tax, and I assist with filing the necessary tax returns or requests for tax waivers. 

How much estate and inheritance taxes must you pay to New Jersey?

Not everyone in New Jersey who inherits property must pay inheritance tax. The following people and entities are exempt:

  • The decedent’s spouse or domestic or civil union partner
  • The decedent’s parents or grandparents
  • The decedent’s descendants, including adopted children
  • The decedent’s stepchildren
  • Schools, religious organizations, hospitals, public libraries and charities
  • State and local governments

Other inheritors must pay tax on any amounts in excess of the exemption that they inherit, but how much they pay depends on their relationship to the decedent, if any, and the tax rate depends on the amount inherited. The siblings and the spouses and civil union partners of the decedent’s children have a $25,000 exemption and then pay 11 percent on the first $1,075,000 up to 16 percent on any amount over $1,700,000. Other inheritors have a $500 exemption and then pay 15 percent on the first $700,000 and 16 percent on any additional amounts. However, life insurance proceeds and some types of retirement benefits and government annuities are not taxable. 

The inheritance tax also applies to assets received outside of probate, such as jointly held property, life insurance proceeds, payable-on-death accounts and transfer-on-death properties.

New Jersey used to impose an estate tax,  along with the inheritance tax. But estate tax does not apply to the estates of people who died after 2018. I will determine if you owe inheritance tax and help you comply if you do.

Inheritance tax waivers

Some property can’t be transferred to heirs until the inheritance tax, if any, has been paid and the state has issued an inheritance tax waiver. I can file the necessary paperwork to secure any necessary waivers.

How to avoid issues and problems 

Inheritance tax can raise a number of estate planning issues. For instance, you might need to appraise certain property to determine how much tax is owed or to present proof of your entitlement to an exemption. If the state delays issuance of an inheritance tax waiver, your attorney may have to take steps to correct any problems contributing to the delay. If your decedent gave you a gift within three years of their death, it will be taxable. If you have these or other problems involving inheritance tax, I am ready to do my utmost to solve the problem as expeditiously as possible.

Contact an estate and inheritance tax lawyer in New Jersey 

At The Paton Law Firm LLC in Fair Lawn, I advise northern New Jersey residents on matters pertaining to inheritance and estate taxes. To request a free initial consultation, call my office at 201-470-4801 or contact me online.


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