Agent

Real estate inheritance can be legal, tax nightmare

Severity of problems depends on how title is held

DEAR BOB: Our dad left his house to us, his four daughters. We own it free and clear. We plan to keep the house as long as we can afford to do so. The land is very valuable. What happens when one of us dies? Should the remaining sisters have the right to buy out the deceased's share? The second question involves our cost basis. Dad added each of us to his deed at different times. We think that means we each have a different cost basis. Is that correct? --Beth, Kathy, Sally and Diana J. DEAR BETH, KATHY, SALLY AND DIANA: I'm sure your late father meant well, but he created a legal and tax nightmare. How is title held? If it was in joint tenancy with right of survivorship, that would be the easiest. Purchase Bob Bruss reports online. As each joint tenant dies, the survivors then automatically acquire the deceased's interest. The will of the deceased co-owner has no effect on joint-tenancy-with-right-of-survivorship property. However, if title is held as tenants in common, and each s...