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Am I allowed to deduct the cleaning and upgrading costs prior to selling a property for inheritance tax purposes in Pennsylvania

New Castle, PA |

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

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See my other post...which indicates that i also agree with Ms. McNicholas.

This is not legal advice nor intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The information provided here is informational in nature only. This attorney may not be licensed in the jurisdiction which you have a question about so the answer could be only general in nature. Visit Steve Zelinger's website:


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.


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.

This is NOT legal advice. The information contained herein is observational and for reference only. These posts are in no way intended as legal advice or counsel. Further, I am not your attorney and you are not my client. I bear no duty to provide counsel, representation or advice to you in any way. The statements I provide in this posting on Avvo do not in any way constitute an attorney-client relationship. Further, these statements are general in nature and made based on the limited facts presented by you, the Poster. Nothing I've written here should be relied upon when making legal decisions. It is your responsibility to consult an appropriately qualified attorney to seek legal advice.

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