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Old 09-13-2012, 01:12 PM
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Stepped Up Basis on land that changed hands a LOT

Question about cost basis when selling property with some history.

I hope someone can follow this!

1. A large property on an island was purchased by my great-grandfather a very long time ago.

2. That property was handed down to my grandfather and his brother, jointly.

3. Together, they subdivided the property into multiple lots and dispersed them with Quit Claim Deeds to several parties throughout the family.

4. The lot in question was first given to two of my second cousins.

5. They then quit claimed it (in a trade, I think) to my first cousin and my grandmother who were in a sole survivor situation (not “joint tenants”, just “sole survivor” – presumably because the lot is undeveloped).

6. My grandmother passed away, leaving the property in my cousin's name alone.

7. My cousin quit claimed it to his brother, keeping his own name on it as well so they both owned it.

8. They then quit claimed it to ME (in a trade for an equal, adjacent lot).

Now, I’m selling it and I need to come up with a cost basis.

From what I’ve read about stepped-up basis, it appears that when my grandmother passed away, her HALF of the property would get a stepped up basis of the fair market value at the time of her death. The other half likely has a near zero basis given how long ago the large lot was purchased, and then subdivived.

So, from what I can gather that status carries forward to me now…. Basically the cost basis would be set at ½ basically zero, and the other half at the value of the lot at the time of my grandmothers passing (divided by two, so her half).

Is my assessment of the situation correct or is there more to it that I need to consider?



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Old 09-13-2012, 10:34 PM
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“7. My cousin quit claimed it to his brother, keeping his own name on it as well so they both owned it.”---->He kept his name on the deed??? Both owned it???? A quitclaim deed is a legal instrument by which the owner of a piece of real property transfers his /her interest to a recipient, called the grantee. The owner/grantor terminates his or her right and claim to the property, thereby allowing claim to transfer to the recipient/grantee;the grantee is entitled only to whatever interest the grantor actually possesses at the time the transfer occurs because the grantee can only receive the interest the grantor held at the time the transfer occurred.
“8. They then quit claimed it to ME (in a trade for an equal, adjacent lot).Now, I’m selling it and I need to come up with a cost basis.From what I’ve read about stepped-up basis, it appears that when my grandmother passed away, her HALF of the property would get a stepped up basis of the fair market value at the time of her death. “----->In general, the step-up in basis rule states that inherited property assumes a basis equivalent to its FMV at the date of the decedent's death. It is referred to as a "step-up" because frequently the FMV of the property at the date of death is greater than the decedent's basis i.e., its cost when it was first acquired. Up until 2010, property owned by a decedent at the time of death of his death had its tax basis changed from what the decedent's basis was to its fair market value - whichever was higher. For the year 2010 - and only that year - the law has been changed to 'whatever is lower'. This change will generally cost inheritors of decedents who die in 2010 more taxes down the line - especially for those inheriting houses.
“The other half likely has a near zero basis given how long ago the large lot was purchased, and then subdivived.So, from what I can gather that status carries forward to me now…. Basically the cost basis would be set at ½ basically zero, and the other half at the value of the lot at the time of my grandmothers passing (divided by two, so her half).”---->I guess you need some professional help from an appraiser in determining the FMV of the subdivided lots.

“Is my assessment of the situation correct or is there more to it that I need to consider?”----->As described previously, I guess you need to contact an appraiser to get more accurate professional help in determining the FMV of the subdivided lots.
This is income tax forum~~



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