Shared his home for 20 plus years, he passed in December 2012, leaving me the home, (real estate), I live in Iowa... The value is 80000.00. Will I have to pay inheritance tax, if so approx. how much...
Family Law Attorney
There will not be any federal estate tax.
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In addition to Attorney Reed's answer, there would be no inheritance tax in Iowa, if you were the surviving spouse. Because it appears that is not the case, you would want to visit with an attorney or CPA to discuss this, further. Your tax could be as much as 10-20%, unless you can show that you were married under common law. Iowa appears to be one of the states that recognizes common law marriage, under certain circumstances. The three elements of a common-law marriage are: (1) the present intent and agreement to be married; (2) continuous cohabitation; and (3) public declaration that the parties are husband and wife. Martin, 681 N.W.2d at 617. The public declaration or holding out to the public is a crucial part of the equation.
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If you aren't the spouse of the homeowner, then you will pay inheritance tax. Stated most simply, the tax for an unrelated person such as yourself is 10% on the first $50,000, 12% on the next $50,000, and 15% on any value above that. The calculation of the taxable estate is a bit more complicated. You should contact a probate attorney to discuss the estate and perhaps help you or the family probate it.
DISCLAIMER: I am an attorney licensed to practice law in the State of Iowa only and not in any other state. The response I have provided is based on the limited information stated in your question or hypothetical scenario. Quite often, a more complete understanding of the facts would lead to different advice or to a broader discussion of relevant or related considerations. The answer provided does not create an attorney-client relationship between us. You should not decide to act or refrain from acting based on my response, which is an attempt to provide general information on a legal topic as presented by you. The law is subject to frequent change and varies from state to state. Also, legal matters often involve deadlines that may significantly affect your legal rights. You should always consult with an attorney in your own state who is knowledgeable in the subject matter, and you should do so as soon as possible.
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