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Lived with a man for 20 years, inherit the home, inheritance tax due...?

Oelwein, IA |

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...

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Attorney answers 3


There will not be any federal estate tax.

Please note that I am answering this question as a service through Avvo but not as your attorney and no attorney-client relationship is established by this posting. An attorney-client relationship can only be established through signing a Fee Agreement and paying the necessary advanced fees.


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.

James Frederick

***Please be sure to mark if you find the answer "helpful" or a "best" answer. Thank you! I hope this helps. ***************************************** LEGAL DISCLAIMER I am licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan and have offices in Wayne and Ingham Counties. My practice is focused in the areas of estate planning and probate administration. I am ethically required to state that the above answer does not create an attorney/client relationship. These responses should be considered general legal education and are intended to provide general information about the question asked. Frequently, the question does not include important facts that, if known, could significantly change the answer. Information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in your state. The law changes frequently and varies from state to state. If I refer to your state's laws, you should not rely on what I say; I just did a quick Internet search and found something that looked relevant that I hoped you would find helpful. You should verify and confirm any information provided with an attorney licensed in your state. I hope you our answer helpful!


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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