What to Do When the Surrogate’s Court Asks for an Inventory of Assets

An inventory of assets is a form that may be required by the Surrogate’s Court. The form must be completed and delivered to the court by either the fiduciary of the estate or, at the request of the fiduciary, it may be provided by the attorney on record.

The inventory of assets form provides the Surrogate’s Court with the following information:

  • Total value of assets of the estate owned by the decedent individually, or assets the decedent had a partial interest in
  • Total value of assets payable or transferrable to decedent’s estate

This may be required in order to determine the amount of a surety bond. Normally, this is set based on the value of the date of death assets. Sometimes the person applying as the personal representative does not have this information readily available. If this is the case, as assets are discovered after the fact, the Surrogate Court must be notified and the bond increased.

The other reason for advising the Surrogate Court about the value of the assets is to notify the State of New Jersey of a potential tax due from the estate. In New Jersey, in 2017, if the estate is larger than 2 million dollars, a New Jersey Estate Tax return is due within 9 months of date of death. The New Jersey Estate Tax Return requires similar information about assets and liabilities as would be required under the Federal Estate Tax Return. In 2018, there will be no New Jersey Estate tax imposed.

Probating a will is often very complex and happens at an emotional time. It is important to speak with a knowledgeable New Jersey estate planning attorney to help achieve your goals and protect your loved one’s assets. The estate planning attorneys of the Law Offices of Hunziker, Jones, & Sweeney, P.A. have experience assisting New Jersey residents with all aspects of trusts and estates, including wills, estate administration and estate taxation. Our estate planning lawyers are trusted by our clients to handle each legal matter with diligence and compassion. For more information or to schedule a consultation, call our New Jersey estate planning firm at (973) 256-0456.

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