Monthly Archives: August 2019

Giving to a Dying Spouse: What Are the Tax Implications?

NY & NJ estate lawyer Paul Goldhamer, Esq. is a founding partner at Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman. Mr. Goldhamer was selected to the Super Lawyers® list in 2014-15. In addition to practicing matrimonial law, he maintains a busy schedule of lectures, charitable work, and media appearances.

From Paul Goldhamer, Esq.:

Say taxpayer Harry is likely to live only a few years and spouse Jane has $100,000 of stock with a cost basis of $20,000. Jane transfers the shares to Harry and reacquires them under Harry’s will. The $80,000 profit escapes income taxation.

Gimmicky? Yes, but Congress permits this maneuver, so long as Harry holds the shares for at least a year. If there’s less time than that, there still may be a way to make the escape from capital gain taxes. The one-year rule doesn’t apply if the assets do not go right back to the person who started with them.

Here it is explained again:

Up until now we have been primarily concerned with estate taxes. Sometimes it is also wise to consider income tax planning. If a person receives a gift of appreciated property and then dies within one year, that property will not receive a step-up in basis if it passes back to the donor. The step-up in basis, if available, will eliminate the 15% capital gains tax on the amount of appreciation. Gifts to an ill spouse should therefore not be overlooked as the ill spouse may survive more than a year. Other planning may be used to balance the assets to obtain both income and estate tax benefits.

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$500K Capital Gain Exemption on House Sale Explained

New York & New Jersey estate lawyer Paul Goldhamer, Esq. is a founding partner at Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman. Mr. Goldhamer is a 2014-2015 New Jersey Super Lawyers® honoree. Above and beyond his work in matrimonial law, he keeps up a full schedule of teaching, charity work, and TV and radio appearances.

From Paul Goldhamer, Esq.:

A house is in a wife’s sole name and has never been in the husband’s name. Each party is entitled to a $250,000 capital gain exemption.

I believe the joint $500,000 exemption is available, so long as the parties are married and file taxes jointly, notwithstanding that the house is in one party’s sole name.   

Is this correct?     

TRUE. IT DOES NOT MATTER WHOSE NAME THE HOUSE IS IN, AS LONG AS A JOINT RETURN IS FILED.

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