Mom dies, house in dad’s name: What about stepped-up basis?

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DEAR BOB: In 2005 my mother died. Her will left all her assets to my dad. Their major asset was their home, now worth around $450,000. However, title to the house was held in my dad's name alone. He owned the house before their marriage 47 years ago. I think he paid around $20,000 for it, but he never added mom's name to the title (perhaps it never occurred to either of them to do so). Does my dad get a new stepped-up basis to market value as of the date of my mother's death? – Cynthia H. DEAR CYNTHIA: No. The very logical reason is that your father didn't inherit your late mother's interest in the house because she didn't hold a partial title to it. Therefore, the stepped-up basis rules for inherited property don't apply because nothing was inherited. Purchase Bob Bruss reports online. However, if your dad had sold the house in 2005, presuming he and your late mother lived there at least 24 of the 60 months before its sale as their principal residence, he could have claimed up ...