OK, that helps. So it is your father's money. The estate will have to pay CA and federal estate tax, but that is not your problem nor your father's. Your father puts the money in an account in his own name. He can give you and your sister each $10000 annually without incurring gift tax. He can write a will giving you and your sister, or maybe his church or whoever, proportions when hedies. He might want to do a "revocable living trust" or any number of ploys to avoid estate tax being taken out of this little bundle on his death. If he puts your name or your sister's on the account, that is regarded as a gift in excessof the limit and gift tax will be due. Of course in the meantime he can pick up the tab for some nice dinners and vacations he might take with you and/or your sister, but as far as "gift", just $10000 a year each. If he gives you more than that, he (not you) must pay gift tax. Presumably you have said some prayers and visited the grave of the long-lost brother, who got found a little too late for you to know him well! Best wishes, Chris
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