The good news is that America did not fall over the fiscal cliff. The bad news is we are left with complicated, convoluted tax laws that few people understand. the so-called fiscal cliff was avoided with the adoption of the American Tax Payer Relief Act of 20120 . I attended a seminar this morning on some highlights of the Act.
The take away message from the seminar was that there are still estate tax issues in New Jersey. The federal estate tax, and gift tax remain at the very high level of $5,250,000 for 2013. However, the New Jersey estate tax is still at $675,000. That means if your entire estate is over $675,000 your heirs could potentially owe New Jersey estate tax. New Jersey is also one of the few states with both an estate tax, and an inheritance tax. Those of us who live in New Jersey are not surprised by the fact that our state has two additional taxes where most states have none! There are ways to maximize the amount of your estate that can pass tax free, and to otherwise provide for the payment of taxes outside of your estate. If the combined estate of you and your spouse, or just your estate if you are not married or in civil union or domestic partnership, is over $675,000, you should consult with an estate planning attorney. Call my office today for a free consultation on any estate planning topic.