In decades past, individuals who were seeking estate planning guidance were told that there are three basic places where one can leave their assets upon death: family, charity or taxes. This approach defined the overall estate planning process for many years, but it does little to meet the needs of today's clients. Many New Jersey residents want to make their estate plan about more than the simple passing of assets to family members and reducing their estate tax burden.
Many New Jersey residents have worked hard to build a strong base of wealth. Retaining as much of that wealth as possible becomes a priority for many families. Understanding the proper steps required to do so can be a challenge, as there are a wide range of rules in place that must be carefully adhered to in order to achieve a favorable result. By working with an attorney, individuals and families can create an estate tax planning strategy that meets their needs.
Each year, the IRS announces how much the estate and gift tax exemptions will be for the following year. Recently, the announcement was made that the estate tax exemption will rise to $5.43 million per person, and the annual gift tax exemption remains at $14,000 for 2015. The $90,000 increase could allow a New Jersey resident to do more gifting during his or her lifetime.
Nearly everyone is aware of the federal estate tax exemption, which is a generous $5.34 million per person for 2014, according to the Internal Revenue Service. Most people feel that they do not have to worry about estate taxes since the majority of estates do not reach this level. However, for those of us in New Jersey, the state assesses both estate tax and inheritance tax, and without proper planning, these taxes can quickly diminish an estate.
When a New Jersey resident dies, his or her estate is subject to taxation. Effectively reducing these taxes is an integral part of estate planning. There are a number of ways to limit the taxes that will come with the transfer of assets following a death. Life insurance is one estate tax planning tool that can be used to ensure that loved ones have the means to pay any remaining taxes.
Tax time is over for the year, and many New Jersey residents are more than happy to put it behind them for the rest of the year. However, this could be the perfect time to conduct some tax strategizing. Everyone could benefit from estate tax planning as well.
The federal estate tax exemption for 2014 is an impressive $5.34 million. Many New Jersey residents believe their estate plans can now be simplified since the majority of people's estates will never reach that level. People believe their estate tax exposure is small, if anything.
When it comes to estate planning in New Jersey, many tasks, concerns and considerations make up the foundation of a great plan. One issue that may be overlooked, however, is estate tax planning, which is a very real concern for individuals planning their estate and their loved ones. When there are multiple beneficiaries collecting inheritances from different sources, planning the big picture, including taxes, becomes a very important part of any estate plan.
U.S. citizens may be pleased that the federal government has offered generous estate tax deductions; however, they should not get too complacent yet. New Jersey is one of the 19 states that still levy death taxes. Several states, including Washington, D.C., assess estate taxes, and seven states collect inheritance taxes, which are paid by the decedent's heirs as opposed to the estate. New Jersey and Maryland are the two states that assess both; however, New Jersey offers one of the lowest exemptions at $675,000.
While the Federal government is giving beneficiaries a generous estate tax exemption, states like New Jersey are not. In fact, New Jersey imposes an estate tax and an inheritance tax on estates with a value about $675,000. Some attorneys who do estate planning for their clients recommend that they move to a state such as Florida that does not have a death tax.