New Hampshire Estate Planning Considerations
New Hampshire is a Common Law State, which means the rules governing the ownership, division, and inheritance of income and property acquired by a husband or wife during their marriage holds that subject to various qualifications, each spouse owns and has complete control over his or her income and property.
Last Will and Testament
The minimum age of a person competent to make a will is 18. The number of witnesses necessary to execute a will is two.
The original custodial gift may be a life insurance policy or annuity contract.
Custodial property may be invested in or used to pay premiums on (1) a policy on the minor’s life if the minor’s estate is the sole beneficiary, or (2) a policy on a third party in whom the child has an insurable interest if the minor or the custodian is the irrevocable beneficiary.
The custodial arrangement terminates when:
- The minor child reaches age 21 for custodial transfers made by irrevocable lifetime gift, will, trust, or exercise of a power of appointment.
- The minor child reaches age 18 for other custodial transfers.
- The minor child dies.
Dying without a Last Will, the New Hampshire laws of Intestacy.
The estate goes to the surviving spouse, as follows:
- If there are no surviving descendants or parents, —100% of the estate
- If the surviving descendants are all also descendants of the spouse and the spouse has no other surviving descendants—first $250,000 plus 50% of the balance of the estate
- If one or both parents survive, but there are no surviving descendants—first $250,000 plus 75% of the balance of the estate
- If there are surviving descendants, all of whom are also descendants of the spouse, and the spouse has one or more surviving descendants that are not descendants of the decedent—first $150,000 plus 50% of the balance of the estate
- If there are surviving descendants, at least one of whom is not also a descendant of the spouse—first $100,000 plus 50% of the balance of the estate
If there is no surviving spouse, or if a portion of the estate does not go to the spouse:
- 100% to descendants, equally if all of the same degrees, but if of unequal degree, those of more remote degree take by representation (which is not defined in the statute)
If there is no surviving spouse or descendant:
- 100% to surviving parent or parents equally
If there is no surviving spouse, descendant, or parent:
- 100% to siblings, equally if all of the same degrees, but if of unequal degree, those of more remote degree take by representation
If none of the above:
- Intestacy laws outline further distribution steps to grandparents’ level. Their descendants provided no portion of the estate passes to any person who is of the fifth or greater degree of kinship to decedent. See RSA 561:1(d), (e), (f).
- If no legally described recipient can be found, estate assets go to the state of New Hampshire.
New Hampshire follows the Revised Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act to ensure that testators can retain control of their digital property and plan for its ultimate disposition.
New Hampshire does not impose an inheritance tax.
Credit Estate Tax
New Hampshire imposes an estate tax equal to the maximum credit allowed under the federal tax code for paid state estate and inheritance taxes under IRC Sec. 2011. However, the current federal tax code does not permit a credit for paid state estate or inheritance taxes. Therefore, there is no credit estate tax in effect at this time.
New Hampshire does not impose a GST tax.
New Hampshire does not impose a gift tax.