How is Residence or Domicile determined for New Jersey Inheritance Tax purposes?

Posted by ANGELA RICH HARTMANN | Feb 16, 2021

Residence is Undefined 

Residence is not defined by the sections of statute and code governing Inheritance Tax.  N.J.A.C. 18:26-11.1(b)1, however, lists indicia of residence and suggests, but does not require, that abandonment of New Jersey and intention not to return could be relied upon to establish nonresidence for purposes of waiver. 


Guidelines from two New Jersey cases help to answer the question of residence.  Lyon v, Glaser, 60 N.J. 259 (1972) and In re Dorrance's Estate v. Thayer-Martin, 115 N.J. Eq. 268 (Perog. 1934), aff'd sub. nom. Dorrance v. Thayer-Martin, 13 N.J. Misc. 168 (Sup.Ct. 1935), afff'd 116 N.J.L. 362 (E. & A. 1936).

  1. The State must establish domicile by a preponderance of the credible evidence.
  2. When a person acquires domicile in a particular place, that place remains his or her domicile until he or she acquires another domicile.
  3. To change domicile, one must in fact remove from the old domicile to the new, with the intention of abandoning the old domicile and of remaining permanently or indefinitely in the new.
  4. A person has the right to choose his own domicile, and his or her motive in such choice is immaterial.
  5. If a person has more than one residence during a given period he or she has the right to select which one of them shall be his or her domicile.

Evidentiary Documents

There are a number of documents that can support of have bearing on the issue of domicile.  They include, but are not limited to: bank records, census records, church records, utility records, grocery records, leases, deeds, bills of sale, mortgage assignments, school registrations, tax bills, tax returns, telephone records, voting records.

Contact Hartmann Law

For more information about Domicile or Residence or to discuss your Estate Planning needs, contact Hartmann Law today.

About the Author


Angela Rich Hartmann is a New Jersey attorney serving clients in the areas of estate, business, and real estate law.