Difference Between A Gross Taxable Estate And Probate Estate

A gross taxable estate includes assets that maintain an interest upon an individual’s death, regardless of whether the assets pass by way of a last will and testament. A gross taxable estate includes gifts made during an individual’s lifetime that exceed $14,000 per person per year. Also, a gross taxable estate includes property transferred during a person’s life that he or she retains an interest in. This means that, if the property is transferred to another individual but one retained a life estate in the property, then it is part of the gross taxable estate. Also, the interest that is payable upon someone’s death, such as a property or life insurance policy, may be deemed as part of the gross taxable estate.

What Property is Considered Part of Gross Taxable Estate

Ordinarily, joint or sole ownership of a property will be considered part of the gross taxable estate. Here is what may be included as part of someone’s gross taxable estate:

  • Real property;
  • Personal property;
  • Bank accounts;
  • Brokerage accounts;
  • Businesses;
  • Life insurance;
  • Annuity;
  • Pension;
  • 401(k);
  • 403(b);
  • IRA’s;
  • Monies from a personal injury claim;

The probate process refers to the process before a Surrogate’s Court judge, where a Will is admitted to probate, an executor is determined, and assets are distributed to beneficiaries. The administration process of an estate also includes determining assets, paying taxes and other expenses, such as attorney fees and administrative costs.

A probate estate includes those assets that pass to a beneficiary through a Last Will and Testament. In addition, assets owned solely are part of a probate estate. Assets with a right of survivorship or that have a named beneficiary are not included in a probate estate. Furthermore, revocable and irrevocable trusts do not usually have to be probated. It is important to note that assets in a trust either held jointly or that have a designated beneficiary are not subject to probate. This means that the asset will pass to the beneficiary immediately without having to be subject to the probate process.

The experienced New Jersey estate planning attorneys at the Law Offices of Hunziker, Jones, & Sweeney help seniors and their families handle all aspects of estate planning. Our New Jersey estate planning lawyers are trusted by their clients to handle each legal matter with diligence and compassion. For more information, contact our New Jersey estate planning law firm at (973) 256-0456.

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