1 New Jersey N2K Hour: Effects of Death and Estate Issues Webex Presentation: March 13, 2018
2 FEATURING: JOHN CROWLEY, ESQ. DAVID RUBIN, ESQ. LARRY BELL, ESQ
3 Stewart Title N2K Hour: Presenting Education, Timely Information, Industry News Our Focus: Insurability and Claims Prevention N.J.S.A. 17:46B-13 No title insurance company and no title insurance agent shall engage in the practice of law or render legal services, legal advice or legal opinions.
4 LAST MONTH: Chancery Proceedings
5 Borrower: Dead or Alive? Before Foreclosure If a borrower is deceased, his or her heirs are proper parties in the foreclosure action, but the lender need not join them if an executor or administrator has been appointed, since a personal representative has the same power over property of the estate as an owner, in trust, for the benefit of the creditors and others interested in the estate. NJSA 3B:10-30
6 Borrower: Dead or Alive? During Foreclosure Demise before the entry of final judgment the complaint will need to be amended to join the administrator/executor, known and unknown heirs as well the estate of the decedent; When a borrower is deceased after the entry of final judgment but before the time of sale, the action will generally not be amended to join the estate.
7 Borrower: Dead or Alive? Conflicting Information Sometimes you will see both a borrower and the estate of borrower named in the complaint, when the borrower is still alive Look for dismissals as to the Estate, but even without a dismissal, this is not an issue as long as the foreclosure was done properly.
8 What You N2K about the Effects of Death and Estate Issues
9 Estate Issues
10 Demise of a Tenant in Common There are no rights of survivorship and upon death of a tenant in common ownership interest in a property passes to his/her estate A tenant in common may individually sell, devise, and encumber only their interest any way they choose and without the consent of co-tenant. May involve any number of people They only share the unity of possession T in C interests do not need to be equal in value, quality, or duration
11 Demise of a Joint Tenant Ownership of a single estate held by two or more people who hold title equally and jointly as though they collectively are one person unities of possession, interest, time, and title must always be present Intent must be clear to create Joint Tenancy Example: A and B, as joint tenants with the right of survivorship and not as tenants in common Interest of a deceased joint tenant passes upon death to the surviving joint tenant(s) by operation of law no probate necessary! No right to dower or curtesy with Joint Tenancy
12 Demise of a Tenant by the Entirety Reserved only for property held by married couple or civil union partners Requires all four unites of title: interest, title, time, and possession and unity of person (valid marriage or civil union partnership) In New Jersey, a conveyance or devise to a married couple or civil union partners is presumed to create a Tenancy by the Entirety (TBE), unless specific wording contradicts the presumption Parties must be married/in civil partnership at the time of taking title!
13 Demise of a Tenant by the Entirety Federal tax lien against one spouse attaches to the delinquent taxpayer/spouse s interest in the property and can be enforced by non-judicial sale of the property or by judicial foreclosure Federal tax liens are extinguished upon the death of the delinquent taxpayer/spouse and do not transfer to the surviving spouse Tenancy by the entirety may be terminated by: death, divorce, mutual agreement, joint conveyance from both spouses into one spouse
14 Liens and Ownership Issues If property is owned as tenants in common, a judgment against fewer than all co-owners will only constitute a lien on the interest of the debtor. If property is owned as joint tenants or tenants by the entirety and debtor pre-deceases the other cotenants, lien of judgment against the decedent is extinguished against the property.
15 A Disclaimer Overrules Death (N.J.S.A 3B:9-1, et seq.) A surviving joint tenant or tenant by the entirety may disclaim an interest to any property devolving to them by right to survivorship. A person who is an heir, devisee, or beneficiary of an estate may disclaim in whole or in part any property or interest by filing a disclaimer (N.J.S.A. 3B:9-2) Disclaimer must be in writing, signed, and acknowledged by person disclaiming and describe the property being disclaimed (N.J.S.A 3B:9-3)
16 Demise of a Life Tenant A Life estate is created by conveyance or devise for either the benefitting party s life or the life of another. Holder of a Life Estate must sign off on all conveyances or encumbrances (deeds, mortgages, etc.) Obtain a death certificate to clear title Lien against holder of a Life Estate is extinguished against property upon death. Judgment holder can only execute against the Life Estate, not the remainder interest.
17 Demise of an Entity Owner Title is held by the entity, not an individual. However, for trusts, the conveyance must be into an individual as Trustee for the Trust (John Smith, as Trustee of the Smith Family Trust). In general, liens against individuals do not attach to property owned by an entity. The entity documents (operating agreements, bylaws, trusts, etc.) govern how the entity is managed.
18 Demise of an Entity Owner What happens if a member of a LLC dies? Pursuant to N.J.S.A 42:2C-44: If a member dies, the deceased member's personal representative or other legal representative may exercise the rights of a transferee. The Estate does not become a participating member of the LLC, unless there is unanimous consent of all surviving members (N.J.S.A. 42:2C- 31(c)(3)) Remember! The Operating Agreement can include provisions regarding the death of a member.
19 Testate Procedures Probate of Will Appointment of Executor Appointment of Administrator c.t.a. (cum testamento annexo) Marshalling of assets/payment of estate debts Payment of NJ Inheritance Tax, NJ Estate Tax, and/or Federal Estate Tax, if applicable and Obtain ITW Sale of assets Distribution of estate assets to devisees Final accounting of estate
20 Intestate Procedures Administration of estate Appointment of Administrator Marshalling of assets/payment of estate debts Payment of NJ Inheritance Tax, NJ Estate Tax and/or Federal Estate Tax) and Obtain ITW Sale of assets Distribution of estate assets to heirs at law Final accounting of estate
21 Devolution Of Property Upon Death N.J.S.A. 3B:1-3 provides that real and personal property passes upon the death of a person (the decedent), to the persons to whom the property is devised by will or, in the absence of a will, to the decedent s heirs at law. If property passes by will, it may be by specific devise or residuary devise. A deed from the Estate to the heir/devisee is required!
22 Conveying Title from the Estate What do we need to convey title? A Surrogate Search will confirm if an executor/administrator has been appointed and include a copy of the will. Completed Estate Questionnaire Estate debts identified and/or paid. Confirmation that all Federal Estate, Inheritance and NJ Estate taxes have been paid, if applicable.
23 The Estate Questionnaire
24 The Fiduciary Power Act N.J.S.A. 3B:14-23 Gives executors and administrators the power to convey real property without the need for court order. If decedent dies intestate, we will accept an administrator s deed without requiring the heirs to join in the conveyance. If a decedent dies leaving a will and the devise is a general devise, we will accept a deed from the executor without requiring the devisees to join in the conveyance. If the decedent dies leaving a will and the devise is specific, we will ask that the deed be executed by the executor and the specific devisees.
25 Testamentary Trusts A testator may devise property to a testamentary trust created by the terms of his/her own will. The will itself establishes the trust and sets the boundaries of the trustee s authority. The creation of any testamentary trust is dependent upon: The death of the testator Probate of the will. An intervivos or living trust may be the devisee under a will. If property is placed in testamentary trust, the Trustee must join the Executor in signing the deed.
26 What about the proceeds? It is the responsibility of the estate to pay off debts and distribute funds to beneficiaries. Generally speaking, sale proceeds of estate property should be sent to the executor on behalf of the estate (not individually) or the attorney representing the estate. Exceptions to the general rule: Court orders Agreements between all interested parties
27 Issues with the Heirs? Missing Estate or Heir Information What to consider? Passage of time Current owner title policy? Heirship affidavits When in doubt talk with your underwriter!
28 Red Flags for Estate Transactions Is Executor complying with the terms of the will? If not, have all heirs/devisees agreed to the transaction? Is Executor acting in the best interest of the estate? For example: Selling property for fair market value? Watch out for self-dealing transactions! Judgments against Decedent Tenancy in Common: Judgments do not die with decedent Judgments against Heir or Devisees Residuary beneficiary: No Specific Devise: Yes
29 What about the intentional death of decedent? Under N.J.S.A. 3B:7-1.1, an individual responsible for the intentional killing of the decedent forfeits all interest in the decedent s estate. Revokes any right the killer OR their relative may have had under any governing instrument executed by decedent including trusts, POAs, etc. Severs any joint tenancies or tenancies by the entireties and converts the interest to tenants in common
30 What about Taxes? There are 3 types of taxes related to estates in New Jersey: Federal Estate Tax New Jersey Inheritance Tax New Jersey Estate Tax A surviving spouse is not subject to any of these three taxes upon the death of a decedent spouse.
31 Federal Estate Taxes Federal Estate Taxes are a lien against real property for 10 years from the date of death. Obtain proof that any Federal Estate Taxes due are paid prior to closing If closing is to occur prior to receipt of proof of payment, an escrow must be held and Indemnity Bond completed by seller Federal Estate Tax is due depending upon the value of the estate at the date of death.
32 Federal Estate Taxes Federal Estate Tax Exemption has been over $5 million per individual since 2011: 2015: $5.43 million 2016: $5.45 million 2017: $5.49 million For 2018, it will be approx. $11.2 million per individual (The IRS has not released the final number) Typically, a majority of estates are not going to be subject to Federal Estate Taxes
33 New Jersey Inheritance Tax NJ Inheritance Tax is a lien for 15 years from the date of death Upon full payment of the tax, the Department of Taxation will issue an Inheritance Tax Waiver (ITW) which is to be filed in the county in which the real property is located. If the estate is taxable, an ITW must be obtained for the property in question prior to closing. If closing is to occur prior to receipt and filing of Inheritance Tax Waiver, an escrow must be held and Indemnity Bond completed by seller.
34 New Jersey Inheritance Tax NJ Inheritance Tax is based upon the amount inheritance received by a devisee or heir at law. We do not require an Inheritance Tax Waiver if all beneficiaries are Class A beneficiaries All other beneficiaries, except non-profits are subject to NJ Inheritance tax after calculation of a threshold exemption The Estate Questionnaire is very helpful to determine beneficiary classes.
35 New Jersey Inheritance Tax Class A: Father, mother, grandparent, grandchild, spouse, domestic partner, civil union partner, child, stepchild, legally adopted child, issue of a child or legally adopted child, any mutually acknowledged child, and non-biological child conceived by artificial insemination during a civil union or domestic partnership (unless it is proven that non-biological parent did not intend to be child s parent) Fully Exempt from Inheritance Tax
36 New Jersey Inheritance Tax Class C: Brother, sister (including halfbrother/sister) First $25, Fully exempt $25,000 up to $1.1 million 11% $1.1 million up to $1.4 million 13% $1.4 million up to $1.7 million 14% $1.7 million and over 16%
37 New Jersey Inheritance Tax Class D: Any transferee who isn t Class A, C, or E Under $500 Fully Exempt Any amount up to $700,000 15% Any amount in excess of $700,000 16% Class E: State of NJ, educational institutions, churches, hospitals, etc. (Most charitable conveyances) Fully Exempt
38 New Jersey Estate Tax Effective for estates where decedent dies after 12/31/01 Tax must be paid within 9 months plus 30 days of date of death. For estates in excess of $675,000 (DOD Prior to 1/1/2017) or $2,000,000 (DOD 1/1/2017 to 12/31/2017), must have: Proof of payment of New Jersey Estate Taxes Estate Tax Waiver from Division of Taxation to be recorded If not recorded, you must hold an escrow Keep in mind: Amount paid in Inheritance tax acts as a credit towards Estate Tax
39 New Jersey Estate Tax Estates in excess of $675,000 and where the decedent died from 12/31/01 up to 12/31/16, the calculation of Estate Tax is based this worksheet. A $60,000 exemption amount is allowed Use amount in Line 3 with the worksheet to determine amount
40 New Jersey Estate Tax For example: Let s say we have a $1 million estate: 1. Line 1: $1,000, subtracted by $60, (Line 2) 2. Line 3: 940, , ,000 = 100, ,000 x 5.6% = ,600 = $33,200.00
41 New Jersey Estate Tax For estates where the decedent died on or after 1/1/2017 but before 12/31/2017, the state has provided a calculator to do the math. For decedents who died on or after January 1, 2018, there is No NJ Estate Tax!
42 Inheritance and Estate Tax Escrow What if the estate hasn t paid the taxes or hasn t received the ITW? If the estate can provide proof that the correct payment was made to the Division of Taxation, no escrow is required. Confirm that the amount sent is the correct amount owed! If the estate has not sent in the payment, an escrow based on the gross value of the estate can be held. Funds from this escrow can be used for payment by the estate.
43 Helpful Links Div. of Taxation: Inheritance & Estate Tax Branch e-estate/inheritance.shtml Provides overviews, instructions, forms, rates, filing requirements, contact information, etc. Includes links to our most requested forms, schedule of upcoming events, past seminar materials, a copy of the Power Point for this program, and more!
44 Virtual Underwriter
46 THANK YOU FOR JOINING US! Please mark your calendars for our: APRIL N2K HOUR Tuesday April 10 10:00AM POA reliance in NJ
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