Home  >  Financial Articles and Q&A  >  In a Community state like California, how is my property...

In a Community state like California, how is my property traeted like my house, when is titled as Joint Tennant, and when one of us passed away, do we get a 100% step up in basis?? Or just 50%??

Sep 30, 2012 by Thomas from Torrance, CA in  |  Flag
3 Answers  |  4 Followers
Follow Question
3 votes

Thomas, I recommend that you consult with a tax attorney to address specific questions about specific assets. Property that is titled as community property generally gets a full step-up in basis. Joint accounts, generally get a 50% step-up. Retirement accounts (IRAs, ROTHs, 401ks) are excluded and get no step-up in basis.

Comment   |  Flag   |  Dec 19, 2012 from San Francisco, CA

1|600 characters needed characters left
3 votes
Jonathan Foster Level 16

Hi Thomas,

As a caveat, please note that the following is my opinion, and please make sure to consult your tax professional for an official answer. I'll bet your property is officially titled "Jt Tenants with Rights of Survivorship". This may read as "JTWROS." If you and your spouse are both named on the title this way, if one of you passes away, the full ownership share transfers to the surviving spouse, free of tax. Additionally, you generally receive a 50% step-up in basis, EXCEPT that in 9 Community Property states (AZ, CA, ID, LA, NV, NM, TX, WA & WI) when you own a home as community property, the surviving spouse will receive a step-up in cost basis on 100% of the value of the home.

I hope this helps,

Jon Foster

Comment   |  Flag   |  Dec 26, 2012 from Santa Monica, CA

1|600 characters needed characters left
2 votes

Hi Thomas,

In general, if you own a home with your spouse as joint tenant with right of survisorship (titled as such)in a community property state, then the surviving spouse will get a full step up in basis.

However, this should not preclude you from speaking with an advisor and an estate attorney in your area. There may be other aspects to your estate you didn't mention. Also, there may be changes coming to estate law that may change the current situation.

Comment   |  Flag   |  Sep 30, 2012 from Permanente, CA

1|600 characters needed characters left