A month before my sister passed in July,2012, she put me on the property as a joint tenant with right of survivorship. I sold the property for $52,000.00 in December, 2012 and spent $8000 just for cleaning and upgrading. I am trying to file inheritance tax return and need to know if I can deduct $8000 and settlement costs as expenses. Thanks
See my other post...which indicates that i also agree with Ms. McNicholas.
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Estate Planning Attorney
Unfortunately, I don't believe that you can deduct those expenses, since you owned the real estate solely as of the moment of your sister's death. The other piece of bad news is that, because the transfer into joint names was made within one year prior to your sister's death, the entire value of the property (minus a $3,000 exlusion) will be taxable.
You might benefit from a consultation and review by an experienced estate/probate attorney, who can review your Inheritance Tax Return to be sure that you are getting the benefit of all of the deductions, to which you are entitled, including possibly the family exemption, and that the valuations of assets are correct and as low as possible. The probably expenditure of a few hundred dollars might save you a lot more, and you can get some advice about any other details you need to attend to so that they don't come back to haunt you in the future. Best of luck!
Disclaimer: The information posted here is for general inforamtional purposes only and does not constitute legal advice for your specific situation, and no attorney-client relationahip is formed by the posting of information here.
Elder Law Attorney
My colleagues are correct. It's important to consult with an experienced attorney about these issues under any circumstance, as he or she will assist you in maximizing deductions and tax benefits. More importantly, expert counsel will also help you avoid common pratfalls.
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