New Jersey Inheritance Tax

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New Jersey Inheritance Tax

New Jersey has both an inheritance tax and a state estate tax. This applies to people who lived in or owned property in New Jersey. Depending on the relationship between the decedent and the inheritor(s), the tax rate will differ.

Categorization of Inheritors

There are currently 4 classes of inheritors, and these classes are based on how closely the inheritors are related to the decedent.

Class A inheritors are completely exempt from the inheritance tax. They include the decedent’s:

Class B no longer applies as New Jersey has changed its law and eliminated that class.

Class C inheritors are decedent’s:

For class C, the first $25,000 gifted to them is not taxed. However, anything exceeding that is taxed at a rate of 11 to 16 percent.

Class D inheritors are everyone else who does not enjoy a tax-exempt status. The first $700,000 is taxed at 15 percent, and anything above that is taxed at 16 percent.

Class E inheritors are the State of New Jersey, charitable societies, public entities, nonprofit organizations, churches, and hospitals. They are all exempt from paying taxes.


Nonetheless, there are some situations where no inheritance taxes are charged. Thus, no taxes are collected on:

Gifts Made During Decedent’s Lifetime

Gifts made within three years before the decedent’s death are also taxed unless it can be proved that the gifts were not made in contemplation of death.

Filing Inheritance Tax Return

The executor or administrator of the estate must file an inheritance tax return within 8 months of the decedent’s death. This is true even if multiple parties owe taxes. An extension for up to 4 months may be filed.


Property will not be transferred until inheritance taxes are paid. However, if none is owed, a Class A inheritor may file for a waiver.

Consulting an Attorney

Inheritance taxes are a very tricky and complex matter. If something is filed incorrectly, then you may not get your inheritance or be fined heavily. If you have any questions, please consult an estate lawyer.

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Last Modified: 06-02-2015 12:46 PM PDT

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