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Christopher Phelps
Christopher Phelps, Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 2710
Experience:  CPA, CFP, PFS, Tax Practitioner 21 Years, Member AICPA/CSCPA Tax/Financial Planning Committee Member
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how is the inheritance tax calculated with

Customer Question

when the husband dies and leaves he will does his whale only apply to his 50 percent
Submitted: 11 years ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  Christopher Phelps replied 11 years ago.

An deceased individual's estate must file an estate tax return if the gross value of that deceased individual's separate assets plus their share of the community property assets exceeds $1,500,000 (for decedents dying in 2004 and 2005). In a community property state a deceased spouse's will applies only to their separate property and their share of the community property (i.e. 50% interest in community property).


Also, for tax purposes, your share (i.e. the surviving spouse's) of the community property as well as the deceased spouses' receives a step-up in cost basis to its date of death fair market value. So on hard to value assets, such as a principal residence or other real estate, make sure you get a full appraisal on as of the date of death, regardless of whether you must file an estate tax return.


Finally, you may still file a married filing joint income tax return with your deceased spouse in the year they passed away. After that you must file as a single (unless you re-marry).


I would recommend you seek out a qualified probate attorney to make sure you are handling everything right. I am sorry for your loss.

Christopher Phelps, Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 2710
Experience: CPA, CFP, PFS, Tax Practitioner 21 Years, Member AICPA/CSCPA Tax/Financial Planning Committee Member
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