Real estate gift comes with unintended consequences

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DEAR BOB: My mom transferred the deed on her house into my name a couple of years ago. After she passes away and I sell the house, what kind of taxes should I anticipate? --Donna B. DEAR DONNA: When your mom gifted the house to you, as the donee you took over your donor's presumably low adjusted-cost basis. Her basis was the purchase price, plus closing costs that were not tax deductible at that time, plus the cost of any capital improvements she added. Purchase Bob Bruss reports online. If you added capital improvements after you became the legal owner, those costs will increase the adjusted cost basis you took over from your mother. Or, perhaps, your mother acquired title by inheritance. Then she received a "stepped-up basis" to market value on the date of the decedent's death. That would be your adjusted cost basis, plus improvement costs. While your mother is still alive, it is important for you to have a conversation with her to determine her adjusted-cost basis at the time she de...