Taxes are a confusing matter for anyone. The existing federal and state tax laws are extremely complicated and it can be difficult to ensure compliance with all relevant laws in certain situations. This is especially true after someone dies as New Jersey has complex estate tax laws that can cost surviving family members a significant amount of money.
Currently, any estate in New Jersey that is worth over $675,000 is subject to a hefty estate tax. Included in the estate value is real property, financial accounts, securities and investments, vehicles, retirement accounts, business interests, personal property, and more. It is not surprising that many different estates are forced to pay this tax, as the threshold is much lower than the federal estate tax threshold (which is $5.45 million in 2016). It is no question that many families in NJ are looking for a way to avoid paying estate taxes.
Proposed Bill May Help with Estate Taxes
This summer, the New Jersey legislature has paid much attention to a proposed bill that would increase taxes on gasoline by 23 cents in order to phase out the estate taxes and still have enough money in the state Transportation Trust Fund. By increasing the gas tax, it will spread the cost to out-of-state drivers instead of hitting NJ residents hard with estate taxes. The bill has passed in the state Assembly and Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, however, it has a long way to go as Governor Christie has voiced opposition to the plan. We will be keeping our eye on the progress of this plan and will keep you updated.
You should always develop your comprehensive estate plan with estate taxes in mind. As estate tax laws change, you should update your estate plan accordingly to protect your assets and surviving family members. It can be difficult to know when to do this, however, so it is important to have the assistance of an experienced NJ estate planning attorney who stays apprised of any changes in the law.
Call a New Jersey Estate Planning Attorney for More Information Today
At the Law Offices of Edward V. Murachanian, we work closely with our clients on an ongoing basis to ensure that your estate plan is always up to date and reflects any new laws or policies or any life events that may warrant changing your plan. To learn more about the services we can provide, please call us at 732-477-3030 for help today.