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>> Here is what my mom did. She had my and my sibling's names added to the house ownership along with her's. Then she also made and signed a quit claim deed which took her name off and deeded the house to me and my siblings. But ... HERE IS THE IMPORTANT PART ... she did NOT have this deed recorded; she put it in a safe deposit box that also had all of our names on it. After her death, we got the quit claim deed from the safe deposit box and took it to the county clerk and recorder and had it recorded and later sold the house. Of course, she had to completely trust us in doing this; I suppose we could have taken the house from her while she was still living.

We used the value of the house at time of death as our cost basis and she did not have an "estate" after her death. We continue to be thankful to her for making things so easy for us.

First of all, I don't think this would work in every state.

Second of all, you say she had no "estate" after her death. If that's the case, it sounds like the house was all she owned. Unless it was a VERY valuable house, then, it was probably worth less than the estate tax exemption, and thus wouldn't have been subject to estate taxes anyway...AND you would still receive that step up in cost basis. So unless this is a multi-million dollar property, I don't see why this strategy was even necessary in this case.

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