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Do not know what name to add to survivorship deed. I am executor of will and mom will own home until she passes. I have siblings

Greenville, OH |

question when we sell house after she is gone , how does capitol gains tax work, am I gonna be responsible solely. Siblings are all in agreement with this, we just don't know the legality of how this will work

Father died april, mom solely owns property, health failing. Got power of attorney, payable on death bank account name added to checking, sisters live out of state . I am left to handle affairs

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Attorney answers 3


If you are left to handle affairs, you should handle them wisely. Using a site like Avvo is a good start, because you can get some useful information. That is commendable, but a wise person does not do what they don't know how to do.

How does your mother "own" the house? By original deed, certificate of transfer or mere survivorship? You cannot "add" a name to a survivorship deed. She can do a "transfer on death" deed, but TOD transactions are tricky. So are powers of attorney. And if you make a mistake that results in a title company being unwilling to insure title to the house when you go to sell it, you'll have a much more expensive mess than paying a lawyer to make sure your mother's health care directives, Will and any other dispositive documents are done properly.

There will be expenses when your mother dies: Funeral, medical bills, taxes (including property taxes), miscellaneous things. Who is going to pay those? If the house passes by TOD deed to the siblings and there isn't enough money to pay everything else, where will that money come from? Are your siblings in position to chip and and help? If the house passes directly to the siblings and the house is sold, will they let you deduct the expenses? Or will they spend all their share? Many well-meaning Executors have gotten stuck holding the bag when siblings fail to hold up their end of the bargain.

The house gets a full step-up in tax basis at your mother's death, so there will be no capital gains tax if it is sold for an amount equal to or less than its "date of death" value (which must be properly determined and defined when she dies).

You need a face-to-face meeting with a knowledgeable probate or elder care expert in your area.

Mr. Huddleston is an Ohio-Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law, with offices in Columbus and Dayton, serving client families and private business owners throughout Ohio. He may be contacted directly by phone toll-free at 888.488.7878 or by email CLH@HUDDLAW.COM. Mr. Huddleston responds to Avvo questions as a public service to help educate and provide general guidance to questioners, but his responses are not legal advice and do not create an attorney-client relationship.


You are approaching the issue in the wrong way. Also, there is more to the planning your Mom needs to do than just considering handling the home. You are not in a DIY situation. It is well worth the expense (in the long run you wi save, not spend money) to consult with an estate planning attorney.


I agree with my colleague. This is definitely NOT a case where you should be trying to do it yourself. At least talk to someone - there are a lot of facts missing here.

The information provided here is general in nature and is not to be considered legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is intended nor created. As an Ohio attorney not licensed in any other jurisdiction, any information provided here is solely based on Ohio law and general legal principals. The information provided here should not be put into practice without specifically consulting an attorney in your jurisdiction. Do not proceed without first discussing this matter with your own local attorney.

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