When my parents built a house in 1981 (their principal residence not mine) they included my name on the deed as 50% owner. Not a good idea in my opinion, but my father had his reasons. My father passed away in 1988. My mother passed away in 1999. I sold the house after my mother's death. What is my basis in the property? Is it 50% of the fair market value at the date of my mother's death? When my parents put my name on the deed, would that have been considered a gift giving me a basis based on the property's fair market value in 1981?For a pretty complete picture of the joys and pitfalls of joint tenancies, check the board from a few weeks ago when we discussed this ad nauseum.The short answer is that (1) some sort of gift was made in 1981; (2) you need to know how you owned it - as a tenant in common with your parents or as a joint tenant with right of survivorship, and whether your parents owned their interest(s) as tenants by the entirety/joint tenants with one another or individually as two of three equal joint tenants or tenants in common along with you; and (3) your basis will be, in some part, at least, based partly on the 1981 value and partly on the 1999 value, and maybe depending on how the house was owned, partly on the 1988 value. The rest of the answer depends on how you and your parents owned it.Chris Risercrisercriser@mayer-riser.com
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