/ Ask Terry Questions / Cost basis for transferred stock at death

Cost basis for transferred stock at death

By Terry Savage on March 23, 2023 | Taxes & Economy

My mother passed away last year. She owned some stock for which I was joint tenant. I’m transferring the stock to my name. What will be my cost basis for capital gains purposes ?

Terry Says

YOur new cost basis is the value of the shares on the date of death! So you avoid paying capital gains on her portion if you sell immediately.
It’s pretty easy to find that value on a public company. Go onto CNBC.com and search for the stock. There is a chart and you can slide the line back to the date of death to get the approximate price.

Now, you might have noticed that I mentioned this is the valuation for your mother’s part of the shares. As a practical matter, if there’s not much involved, you might get away with selling now and reporting the whole thing as “no capital gain” since the value is probably unchanged since the date of death. But technically speaking your “half” of the shares has its own cost basis– the date she originally purchased the stock. But again, if not a lot of money involved, I’d just sell the shares and be done with it, with no or negligible reportable gains.



a personal
finance question