No stepped-up basis if you don’t inherit anything

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Editor's note: Robert Bruss is temporarily away and will return next week. The following column from Bruss' "Best of" collection first appeared Sunday, Nov. 12, 2006. DEAR BOB: Our house is owned under my living-trust name. If I survive my husband, will the basis for the house be stepped up to market value as of the date of his death? Should I add my husband's living trust to the deed? --Eliza W. DEAR ELIZA: If the title to your house is in the name of your living trust and it is not a joint living trust with your husband, if he dies before you do, there's nothing for you to inherit. Therefore, you won't receive any stepped-up basis to market value on the date of his death. Purchase Bob Bruss reports online. However, if you and your husband have a joint living trust and he dies first, in a common-law state you will receive a new stepped-up basis to market value for the 50 percent inherited from your husband. But if the residence is held in a community property state with both spouse na...