The attorneys here at Power Law Firm are here to help if you are ready to put an estate plan in place as a Bergen County, NJ resident. This is the most populous county in the Garden State, and Manhattan is just across the river, so it is part of the New York City metropolitan area.
This county is comprised of 70 different municipalities, and Hackensack is the city with the highest population at just over 46,000 according to the 2020 census. There is a Power Law Firm location in Hackensack, so we are locals helping our neighbors protect their legacies.
Life in Bergen County
The county has a very rich history dating back to its original settlement in the 17th century. It is a diverse area that is flavored by its proximity to cosmopolitan Manhattan, and this dynamic creates a palpable vibrancy.
Higher education opportunities are available at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, and Ramapo College is located in Mahwah. Bergen County Community College in Paramus is another option, and there are BCCC locations in Lyndhurst and Hackensack.
Households in Bergen County bring in a median income of approximately $110,000, and the median home sale price is $550,000. However, 6.6 percent of the homes in the county are valued at more than $1 million.
Estate and Inheritance Taxes
Affluent families in Bergen County should be aware of the potential impact of the federal estate tax. It carries a 40 percent top rate, and it is applicable on the portion of an estate that exceeds the exclusion.
At the time of this writing, it is just over $12 million, but it is scheduled to go down to $5.49 million adjusted for inflation in 2026.
There are just five states in the United States that have state-level inheritance taxes, and New Jersey is among them. This tax can be a factor for people of relatively ordinary means, but close relatives are typically exempt.
If your estate is going to be exposed to taxation, we can help you implement a tax efficiency strategy. When you take the proper steps in advance, you can minimize the impact and preserve your legacy.
Bergen County Surrogate’s Court
When a will is used as an asset transfer vehicle, it is admitted to probate. The executor will handle the estate administration tasks, and the court will provide supervision.
This court will supervise when someone passes away without any estate planning documents at all, and guardianship proceedings are another function of the court.
In New Jersey, the Surrogate’s Courts in the respective counties preside over probate matters. The Bergen County Surrogate’s Court is located at Two Bergen County Plaza, Hackensack, NJ, Suite 500, and the Mobile Number is 201-336-6700.
Bergen County Elder Care
As an elder law firm, we help clients prepare for the eventualities of aging. The United States Census Bureau has found that 17.7 percent of Bergen County residents are 65 years of age and older.
The Bergen County Division of Senior Services in Hackensack is a great source of information about services that are available to Bergen County senior citizens. You can also visit the Alzheimer’s Association website to learn about Alzheimer’s resources.
Most seniors will require living assistance, and over half of people that are 65 years of age and older will need professional long-term care. Just over one-third will spend time in nursing homes.
Medicare does not cover custodial care, and you can expect to pay $150,000 or more for a year in a Bergen County nursing home. Fortunately, Medicaid will cover the costs, but it is a need-based program.
You can’t qualify if you have significant assets, but you can potentially convey assets into a Medicaid trust to prepare yourself for eligibility in the future. Advance planning is key because the trust must be funded at least five years before you apply for Medicaid coverage.
Schedule a Consultation Today!
If you are ready to work with a Bergen County estate planning lawyer to put a plan in place, we are here to help. You can give us a call at 800-281-1515 to schedule a consultation appointment, and you can fill out our contact form if you would rather send us a message.