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My Dad deeded his house to me 1998 witha life estate. He went into a nursing home in 2008.I maintained his home ,paying taxes

Worcester, MA |

and bills.My dad died in 2011 and I sold his home in 2012.Do I pay capital gains.There was no lien or did not go through probate. I live in conn.and his house was in mass.

and bills. He had to go on He died in 2011 and I sold his house in 2012. Do I needto pay capital gains. There was no lien on the house and did not go through probate.The house is in Mass. and Ilive in conn.

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Attorney answers 2


I would advise that you see an CPA or tax attorney about this. For IRS purposes, one of the disadvantages of a life time gift to you was that you did not receive "stepped-up" basis on the property, meaning your cost basis for calculating your capital gain on the sale is the difference between the amount sold in 2012 less the transferor's (your father) cost basis (the amount it was worth when he purchased). This is in contrast to an inheritance/transfer at death where the person receiving gets "stepped up" basis which is the difference between the sales price and fair market value as of date of death. Typically, the capital gain is much greater with the lifetime gift versus inheritance as you face here. The wrinkle added in here is the life estate so your CPA has to calculate the value of the life estate/remainder interest when coming to a number for your capital gain. I would be sure to reserve an amount to pay the additional tax out of the sale proceeds so you don't get caught with a large tax bill you cannot pay.

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:



someone told me about a stepped up program since the home had a life estate with me on the deed

Jefferson W. Boone

Jefferson W. Boone


I agree, particularly the first sentence, advising you to get a professional opinion. You may need to have an actuarial opinion, as well.


Yes, you will likely have to pay capital gains taxes for the sale of the home.

If this answer was helpful, please mark it as helpful or as a best answer. This answer is for general education purposes only. It neither creates an attorney-client relationship nor provides legal guidance or advice. The answer is based on the limited information provided and the answer might be different had additional information been provided. You should consult an attorney.