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My Dad owns a house with about a $500,000 current market value, and about a $25,000 tax basis. He is a widower.

Is there any way he can shield more than $250,000 of the gain upon sale from federal taxes? What about the $125,000 lifetime exemption? Does this still exist, or was it eliminated in the 1997 tax act, when the $500,000/$250,000 exemption was put in place? What about rolling a part of the gain into the basis of a new house? Does this option still exist? Does the new house have to cost more than the selling price of the house he sold?
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