Agent

Best way to acquire elderly neighbor’s house

Situation complicated by taxes, inheritor

DEAR BOB: I take care of my 85-year-old widowed neighbor. She has no family other than a nephew she has never met who lives in Europe. She has willed her home to him. I told her I would like to buy the house from her now and he can inherit the money instead. The home is about 40 years old and in original condition. I would let her live her life there and I would manage the property. What is the best way to handle this and how can I avoid taxes? Or is it better if she wills the property to me and I pay the nephew at the time of death? --Karen C. DEAR KAREN: If you buy the house now before your neighbor dies, it is not a taxable situation for you. But it might be a taxable situation for her if she has more than a $250,000 capital gain. Purchase Bob Bruss reports online. Of course, you can buy the house now and give the widow a life estate so she can remain living in it for her lifetime. If the widow leaves the house to you in her will, that might be prohibited if your st...

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