Can Jointly Owned Funds Be Released Without a Tax Waiver From New Jersey?

By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. of Hanlon Niemann & Wright, a Freehold, NJ Estate & Probate Administration Attorney

What is the law concerning the release of funds held in the name of a person individually or jointly with another upon death? The law regarding the release of funds held by a bank, trust company, credit union, corporation, or person may release any amount up to 50 percent of the entire amount of funds on hand held in deposit, which belong to;

  1. An Executor;
  2. Administrator;
  3. Legal representative of the decedent;
  4. Surviving joint tenant;
  5. The estate of a minor where title to said funds are held in the name of a custodian for said minor, without the written consent of the Director, upon the application of such proper party to the institution, association, organization, corporation or person above mentioned.

The above provisions apply to each account and to each institution and person listed above with whom a decedent has any funds on deposit, including Certificates of Deposit. The maximum amount that can be released is 50 percent of the funds in the entire account whether such account is held in the decedent’s name only or jointly with another. Where the decedent holds an account jointly, only one half of the funds may be released, not the half claimed by the joint owner and an additional half of the funds belonging to the decedent.

In addition to the amount permitted to be released by an institution, association, organization, corporation, or person referenced above:

  1. Pay any and all checks drawn on any account owned by a decedent individually, jointly, or otherwise, when said checks are issued prior to death and presented for payment within 10 days following the decedent’s date of death;
  2. Pay any checks in any amount for which there are sufficient funds held in deposit, drawn on any account owned by a decedent individually, jointly or otherwise, representing full or partial payment of any New Jersey Transfer Inheritance or Estate Taxes and made payable to New Jersey Inheritance and Estate Tax;
  3. Liquidate the loan of any decedent who has pledged the pass book representing a savings account as collateral for a loan, where upon the death of such a decedent the loan is in default and then make 50 percent of the remaining funds available under the blanket waiver; but

Securities of a New Jersey Corporation registered in the name of a decedent and issued by any bank, or savings and loan association situated in this State, are not subject to the Blanket Waiver rule provided in this section. Therefore, the written consent of the Director must be obtained in order to transfer or release such assets.

To discuss your NJ Estate & Probate Administration matter, please contact Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. toll-free at (855) 376-5291 or email him at  Please ask us about our video conferencing consultations if you are unable to come to our office.