The first issue to address is whether the will addresses how inheritance taxes will be paid, says nj.com recent article entitled “My adult kids inherited a home. What taxes are due?” The mortgage may say the estate itself will pay it before anything is paid out to beneficiaries, or it may not mention anything.
Iowa, Kentucky, Nebraska, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania are the only states that impose an inheritance tax, which is a tax on what you receive as the beneficiary of an estate.
Maryland is the one state that has both an inheritance tax and an estate tax. Its inheritance tax is up to 10%. As to the others, Nebraska’s inheritance tax can be as high as 18%. Kentucky and New Jersey both taxes inheritances at up to 16%. Iowa’s inheritance tax is up to 15%, as is Pennsylvania’s.
Spouses and certain other heirs are usually excluded by the state from paying inheritance taxes.
A child may have an issue if there’s not enough liquidity in the estate, separate from the house to pay the taxes. If the beneficiaries plan to keep the home, they’d need to take an additional mortgage. They’d also need to find enough cash to pay the inheritance taxes due.
In the example above, if the deed is transferred to a niece and nephew, the executor should hire a licensed real estate appraiser and pay for a date of death appraisal on the property. That appraisal will determine how much capital gains was exempted at the sister’s passing. It will also establish a new basis for capital gains purposes for the niece and nephew.
If the heirs simply do nothing and move into the house, the inheritance tax will come due. In New Jersey, it’s due eight months from the date of death.
If the inheritance tax isn’t paid, liability for the unpaid tax will attach to the executor personally, often in the form of a certificate of debt attached to some asset belonging to the executor, like his or her house.
To make sure this is handled correctly, consider speaking to an experienced estate planning attorney, who can walk you through the process.
Reference: nj.com (June 14, 2021) “My adult kids inherited a home. What taxes are due?”
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