Who Pays the New Jersey Inheritance Tax?

Posted by ANGELA RICH HARTMANN | Feb 09, 2021

The New Jersey Inheritance Tax is not a tax on the estate but rather a tax on the transferee's right of succession to property transferred by a decedent.  As a practical matter, the distinction may not make a difference, as the personal representative in charge of the estate is required to deduct this tax prior to distribution. 

The total amount of Inheritance Tax due is computed by adding the sums due from each transferee.  While each transferee is personally liable for their interest, as permitted by N.J.A.C. 18:26-9.2, the personal representative of the estate, for example, the executor, administrator or trustee of the estate, will take responsibility for preparing the Inheritance Tax return and payment on behalf of the estate.  In fact, the personal representative has an obligation to collect or deduct the Inheritance Tax due prior to distribution, or else be subject to personal liability for the obligation. The Inheritance Tax is due and payable upon the decedent's death; however, payment may be made at any time within eight months of the date of death.  Tax payments not made within eight months begin to accrue interest on the unpaid tax at a rate of 10% per year.  The tax becomes a lien on all on the decedent's property as of the date of death for a period of 15 years unless paid or secured by a bond. 

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About the Author


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