How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Jon Andrews Your Own Question
Jon Andrews
Jon Andrews, Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 3118
Experience:  I deal with all levels of tax planning and controversy - from the ordinary to the complex.
4750
Type Your Tax Question Here...
Jon Andrews is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Sole ownership of assets and inheritance

Customer Question

95% of the assets of my sp[ouse and I are in his name. Is it presumed that "his" properties, stocks, retirement accounts, invetsments, etc. are jointly owned? In the case of his death, does he have to list all of these in his will, or is it presumed that I have the right of survivorship? I live in New Jersey and we file a joint incomke tax return.
Submitted: 11 years ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  Jon Andrews replied 11 years ago.

This is really a state law question rather than a tax question. Generally speaking, if the assets are in his name and not "joint tenants with rights of survivorship", they are "his". They do not have to be individually listed for you to inherit them, but, if that is his desire, the will could say something very generic, i.e. "all properties and other assets go to my wife,_______." However, if there are significant assets and/or other potential heirs, you would be wise to do some planning. At the very least you should re-title the assets to reflect joint ownership. Your best course of action would be to see a competent attorney and make sure that everything is properly done.


[email protected]
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Jon Andrews's Post: You say thast this is a state law question. Do you know how this applies in New Jersey? Are there inheritance taxes involved if he "his" assets are left to me? Would putting "his" assets into joint ownership avoid inheritance taxes?
Expert:  Jon Andrews replied 11 years ago.

A wife can inherit OR be gifted an unlimited amount of asset value from a husband with no gift or estate tax consequences. HOWEVER, state law determines whether or not the wife is the automatic heir and, if there are other potential heirs and it is not spelled out specifically, you are likely to have a long battle over who gets what.


In New Jersey (based on my understanding), the wife will inherit assets that are actually jointly owned. Everything else passes by will or by intestacy as follows:


If the deceased was married with no children:


and that person’s parents are not living, and that person has no children, then the surviving spouse inherits everything.


If the deceased was married and has a child:


If the child is also the surviving spouse’s child, then the surviving spouse inherits up to $50,000 and ½ of the balance of the estate, and the other ½ goes to the child or children.


If the child is the offspring of the deceased and someone other than the surviving spouse, then the spouse inherits ½ of the estate, and the child inherits the other ½ of the estate.


If the deceased was married, and had no children, but one or both of the deceased’s parents are alive:


The surviving spouse inherits up to $50,000 plus ½ of the estate, and the surviving parent or parents inherit the other ½ of the estate


[email protected]

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • I really was impressed with the prompt response. Your expert was not only a tax expert, but a people expert!!! Her genuine and caring attitude came across in her response... T.G.W Matteson, IL
< Previous | Next >
  • I really was impressed with the prompt response. Your expert was not only a tax expert, but a people expert!!! Her genuine and caring attitude came across in her response... T.G.W Matteson, IL
  • I WON!!! I just wanted you to know that your original answer gave me the courage and confidence to go into yesterday's audit ready to fight. Bonnie Chesnee, SC
  • Great service. Answered my complex tax question in detail and provided a lot of additional useful information for my specific situation. John Minneapolis, MN
  • Excellent information, very quick reply. The experts really take the time to address your questions, it is well worth the fee, for the peace of mind they can provide you with. Orville Hesperia, California
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP Hesperia, CA
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Wallstreet Esq.

    Wallstreet Esq.

    Tax Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    577
    10 years experience
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/KU/KUMI95/2013-9-30_195031_kumar.64x64.jpg Wallstreet Esq.'s Avatar

    Wallstreet Esq.

    Tax Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    577
    10 years experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/CATax/2009-08-04_204548_Mark.jpg Mark D's Avatar

    Mark D

    Enrolled Agent

    Satisfied Customers:

    1245
    MBA, EA, Specializing in Business and Individual Tax Returns and Issues
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/IN/insearchoftheanswer/2013-8-16_0233_attorney.64x64.jpg Richard's Avatar

    Richard

    Tax Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    3882
    29 years of experience as a tax, real estate, and business attorney.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/TA/TaxRobin/2013-8-28_16186_femalebusinessprofessionalbinderhand11038485.64x64.jpg Robin D.'s Avatar

    Robin D.

    Senior Tax Advisor 4

    Satisfied Customers:

    11072
    15years with H & R Block. Divisional leader, Instructor
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/YI/yirtual/2015-3-12_43754_egan.64x64.jpg Megan C's Avatar

    Megan C

    Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

    Satisfied Customers:

    8621
    Licensed CPA, CFE, CMA, CGMA who teaches accounting courses at Master's Level
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JG/jgordosea/2012-6-7_43138_GordosVeritas.64x64.jpg jgordosea's Avatar

    jgordosea

    Enrolled Agent

    Satisfied Customers:

    2884
    I've prepared all types of taxes since 1987.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/FA/fastfile/2011-12-15_23139_Klein2011small.64x64.jpg R. Klein, EA's Avatar

    R. Klein, EA

    Enrolled Agent

    Satisfied Customers:

    1837
    Over 20 Years experience