Real Estate Law
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Good afternoon. I am Loren, a licensed attorney for over 30 yrs, and I look forward to assisting you. My condolences for your loss.
Did your brother and late mother own the property as tenants in common or as joint tenants with right of survivorship?
It matters in terms of your rights.
Thank you for the additional information there is going to be capital gains owed on the appreciation.
The portion given to you is a gift. So, you do not have any taxes to pay personally. Just your brother on the gains from the sale of his property.
Did your brother live in the home as a primary residence?
Unless he actually and physically lived there he is not entitled to the exemption from capital gains. Additionally, if it was in his wife's name, then she would have had to actually live there.
I realize this is probably not the answer you were hoping to receive. Also, please remember that this is not a moral judgement on my part. As a professional, however, I am sometimes placed in the position of having to deliver news which is not favorable to a customer's legal position, but accurately reflects their position under the law. I hate it, but it happens and I only ask that you not penalize me with a bad or poor rating for having to deliver less than favorable news.
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Without a will you have no legal claim to the property. Anything your brother sends you is a gift and there is no tax assessed to the recipient on a gift.
If he is the surviving joint tenant then your brother just gets the property upon your mother's death as the surviving joint tenant. It happens automatically, by operation of law, outside of probate.
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