DEAR BOB: Several times you have mentioned the "stepped-up-basis" rule for property inherited from a deceased spouse. The last time you mentioned this, you said a surviving spouse gets a new 50 percent stepped-up basis for property inherited from a deceased spouse, except in community-property states where it is a 100 percent stepped-up basis. Why the difference? Which are the community-property states? – David R. DEAR DAVID: Community-property legal theory is that all assets acquired during a marriage belong equally to the husband and wife regardless of who earned the money to buy those assets. There are a few exceptions, such as assets inherited by a spouse during the marriage, and assets owned by a spouse before the marriage. Purchase Bob Bruss reports online. In 1848, the Trea...
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