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Which states give spouses special real estate tax breaks?

A look at community-property legal theory

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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 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ending the Mexican War required the rights of Mexican citizens to be respected, including community property between a husband and wife. Community-property states are Arizona, ...