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Inheritance tax in New Jersey depends on connection

It is a difficult subject to tackle, but successful people spend some time and effort working out the details of their end of life plans. Many people have assets and properties to share out among living beneficiaries or charitable organizations, and many of them also have families to consider for the future.

Larger assets may be subject to taxation by the federal government or the state government in Trenton. If assets include a house, especially if it is a primary home, writers of wills often want to know if their children or other inheritors will be able to afford to keep it.

There is no set amount of inheritance tax for a property in New Jersey. The material subject here is the relationship of the inheritor to the decedent, the person who wrote the will before death. Spouses, children, grandchildren, parents and grandparents are considered Class A beneficiaries and they owe no tax due to the intimate relationship with the previous owner.

Charities are also exempt from inheritance tax. More distant relatives, like siblings and children-in-law, are Class C beneficiaries who may owe between 11 and 16 percent of the property's total value. All others are Class D beneficiaries who owe either 15 or 16 percent depending on the property's value.

When it is time to consider estate planning, legal representation is an important and often vital part of the process. The care and attention of an attorney in early estate plans can often save money, effort and heartache for a period later in life or for the survivors who will receive inheritances.

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