What are the tax liabilities for the money I receive?
If you inherited the property from someone who died in 2010 different rules apply, For this year only, inherited property has a carryover basis. The property does not automatically get a new, stepped-up basis to the date of death value of the property. Rather, basis is same as the basis of the decedent subject to possible adjustment depending on how a $1.3 million special basis adjustment is allocated by the executor of the decedent's estate. If your property was inherited from someone who died in 2010, you should definitely get specialized tax advice from a qualifed attorney or CPA regarding the basis of your property for determining gain.
This response does not constitute legal advice. It is intended to be educational.See question
Who can sign the decedent's 1040 form to close out the IRS file? A probate is not needed as the estate assests are under 100,000.00 in California.
IRS Publication 559 answers this question. It provides that if no personal representative has been appointed and if there is no surviving spouse, the person in charge of the decedent's property must file and sign the the decedent's final return as "personal representative."
This response is for educational purposes only and is not intended to constitute legal advice.See question
Joint wros vers community for purposes of basis adjustment upon the death of the first spouse
In Washington property held by a husband and wife as joint tenants with right of survivorship is presumed to be community property. Assuming the joint tenancy investments were aquired with community funds, those assets should be treated as community property for purposes of the basis adjustment upon the death of the first spouse. Since the presumption is rebuttable, however, If there is any question about whether community funds were used to acquire the joint tenancy property, the spouses can enter into a written agreement confirming that the joint tenancy property is their community property or transmuting it to community property to the extent it might not already be community property.
As you may know, the federal income tax basis adjustment rules for 2010 are not the same as prior years or subsequent years (unless Congress changes the rules again). Carryover basis rules apply in 2010, which allow for the allocation of a step-up for assets passing to a surviving spouse with respect to up to $3 million in gain.
This response is educational. It is not intended to and does not constitute legal advice.See question
My name as the surviving spouse was excluded on my wife's death certificate by her daughter. We had separated 2 years prior, but never divorced.
California law generally permits a death certificate to be amended to correct inaccurate information. In order to this, you must file an Affidavit to Amend Death Record with the Office of Vital Records, which is part of the California Department of Public Health. The appropriate form (VS 24) along with complete instructioins may be found online at the following site:
The address and phone number of the Office of Vital Records is included on the form and instructions pamphlet. The form seems self-explanatory, but you may wish to consult with an attorney if you need assistance in prepearing the affidavit.
This response is intended to be educational in nature and should not be construed as legal advice.See question
My husband and I want to make a will. Both our grown children are out of state. Would it be better for us to chose a family member who is in state to be the executor of the will?
This response is educational. It is not intended to and does not constitute legal advice.
WA law allows a nonresident to serve as executor (also called a "personal representative"), provided the nonresident person complies with certain requirements, inlcuding filling a bond unless the requirement for a bond has been waived in the will. Whether it it would be better to choose another family member who is in state depends on the circumstances. The executor has a duty to administer the estate in an expeditious manner. If the estate is simple and you children can handle the respnsibility, there may not be any problem for your children, or one of them, to serve as executor. If the estate is complex, it might be advantageous to appoint someone else such as another family member or an independant professional fiduciary, who can be on the scene. You will just have to consider all the facts and it would be a good idea to discuss these condiderations with an attorney who does wills and estate administration.See question