Ask Terry Questions Taxes on Sale of Deceased Mothers Home

Taxes on Sale of Deceased Mothers Home

By Terry Savage on March 03, 2019 | Financial Planning / Retirement

Hello Terry,
You have been helpful to me in the past. My mother who had dementia is now deceased. Her property was in a Life Estate set up by her father. Her Will granted me 70 percent of the proceeds from the sale of the home. Once sold I put my share of the money in a money market account. How much will I be taxed on that money? Should I have sheltered that money somewhere else? Is it too late to do so now?
Thank you for your attention to this.

Terry Says

Presuming there was a will, or revocable living trust, and that the share of the property was passed through to you — you will owe NO taxes on the amount you receive!  Any taxes would be owed by the estate — and then only if the total estate were worth over $11 million!

So now you have “found money”!  The question is what to do with this — once-in-a-lifetime — windfall.  First, pay off all your credit card debt. Then, if you are working, open an IRA at Fidelity or Vanguard, where you can put in up to $ 6,000 (or $7,000 if you are age 50 or older) —  if your income (single) is under $122,000.  You MUST have income to make the contribution.  Depending on your age, choose a conservative, equity-income fund, and then try to add to it ever year.

If there’s anything left over — save it in a money market account in a bank.  You won’t earn much, but it will buy plenty of peace of mind. That’s what your mother would want for you!

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