The New Jersey Senate and General Assembly have passed bills phasing out the New Jersey estate tax over a period of 15 months.  Beginning January 1, 2017, the estate tax exemption, currently the lowest in the nation at $675,000, will rise to $2 million.  Estates of persons dying on or after January 1, 2018 will not be subject to estate tax.  The Governor is expected to sign the legislation. 

The New Jersey inheritance tax will remain in effect.  The inheritance tax does not apply to transfers at death to a spouse, parent, child, grandchild or great-grandchild, or to a charitable organization.  Tax is imposed on most other transfers.

Existing wills and trusts for most married couples include planning to minimize New Jersey estate tax.  In many cases, revisions will be advisable.

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AuthorAndrew DeMaio