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Author: TMFPMarti Big funky green star, 20000 posts Home Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 121103  
Subject: Re: stepped up basis on inherited accounts Date: 12/9/2007 4:05 PM
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It's a ROTH IRA I'm talking about. In that case would the basis be stepped up?

"Basis" in the context of an IRA has a completely different meaning, specifically, after-tax contributions. That does not change on the owner's death. See IRS Publication 590 about beneficiaries of Roth IRAs.

We are in a community property state (CA) but we are not married, just "domestic partners", so ALL of our property is separate.

In these days of euphemisms, where "fiances" live together for years and spawn children without getting married, I'm hesitant to make assumptions about what you mean by "domestic partners" placed in quotes. CA has a domestic partnership law, but I don't know whether you've availed yourselves of it or not. If you have or are contemplating doing so, it would be a good idea to discuss its correllation with community property law with a family law attorney. I seem to recall from another forum that 2008 is bringing some changes to CA community property law to address domestic partnerships.

Come to think of it, talking with an attorney might not be such a bad idea regardless of your status or plans. After all, it's the CA courts that took us from "no fault" divorce to "no marriage" divorce, introducing the concept of palimony.

The non-retirement account is a joint account, and we are not married. It is held as JTWROS. I would think there is no basis step up in that case?

So, I guess not all your property is separate.

As I thought I noted before, without community property considerations half of a JTWROS account gets a stepped up basis when one of the joint owners dies. For example, let's say the basis is $1,000 and the FMV at the date of death is $5,000. The survivor now has a basis of $3,000 (the $500 original plus the $2,500 half of the FMV). Whether this account would be treated as community property regardless of how it's currently titled I have no idea. As I mentioned, that's a CA property law question. If it was treated as community property, the basis would become $5,000.

Phil
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