I have my name on my mother's (86) financial items. My name is not on her house, only hers. Should my name be there?

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Should my name be on there to avoid unnecessary probate and other issues?

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Typically, it isn't wise to put your name on a house or capital investment. At death, the beneficiary receives the asset at the value at the date of death. If you don't have your name on it and sell it immediately after your mom's death, there wouldn't be any tax consequences since there wouldn't be any gain. If your name is added now, half the value will have its cost basis increased to the current value. If you then sell the asset in 10 years, there is the possibility you may be taxed on the gain.
BUT, an important word of caution --- seek the assistance of a tax advisor. Many things can affect the statement I made. They include (but are not limited to) Total value of the estate, potential for medicaid applications, values and tax brackets of both of you.
Snow, I agree with geewiz's post above, it is not recommended to place your name on Mom's house.

Besides there is also the risk that Mom would need to pay the IRS a gift tax on the half value of the house as it sits today if your name was added.
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE INFORMATION GEEWIZ AND FREQFLYER. This really helps me out. This is all so hard to figure out.
Snow, you need to check out, or better yet, consult an attorney about step-ups in value on date of death. Stepped-up value is critical for determining value of assets as of the date of death.

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