How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Lane Your Own Question

Lane
Lane, JD, CFP, MBA, CRPS
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 4222
Experience:  Juris Doctorate, CFP and MBA, Providing Financial & Tax advice since 1986
1929974
Type Your Tax Question Here...
Lane is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

my dad passed away in 2012. He lived in a one bedroom apt and

Resolved Question:

my dad passed away in 2012. He lived in a one bedroom apt and upon his dead i donated all his personal property to charity (furniture, household items, kitchenware, electronics, etc...). I am the executor on his will but he left no estate other than the above. I received receipts from all charities (Salvation army, Goodwill) in my name for the non-cash donations above but all itemized items were just written down by me as record of waht was donated and not on the receipts themselves. Can I legally deduct the fair market value of the items donated on my 2012 tax return?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  Lane replied 1 year ago.

NPVAdvisor :

Hi, I can help with this

Customer:

great

NPVAdvisor :

First, I'm sorry to hear of your fathers passing

Customer:

thanks

NPVAdvisor :

Were there other siblings, or were any of hid belongings bequested to others?

NPVAdvisor :

"his" belongings (sorry for the typo)

Customer:

i have six other sisters; no other belongings were bequested to others..

NPVAdvisor :

Ok, then as long as probate has closed (probate comes from the Latin, meaning to prove) as in "to prove" who now owns the assets, then yes they are yours to donate

NPVAdvisor :

If probate has not closed, then technically, they should be deducted on his last tax return (the return that should be filed for the last year he was alive), the if a refund was generated it would be part of the estate and distributed to the beneficiaries

NPVAdvisor :

as per the will

Customer:

So i was told by a local attorney that his property left was not worth the probate (ir. only furniture/household items) and that since he left ~$500 that probate was not required. So i have not done so...is that a problem

NPVAdvisor :

Did you per chance file a small estate affadavit?

NPVAdvisor :

No, you beat me to if

NPVAdvisor :

for a small estate in many estates it's not neccessary

NPVAdvisor :

Then yes, they belong to you and you can do as you please, including denoting them to charities

NPVAdvisor :

Sorry (in many states)

NPVAdvisor :

If your atty was licensed in TX, then I'm sure he was correct, there's even an affidavit for what Texas calls a small estate (and that one's for estate less than 50,000) for less than 500 that would be very common.

NPVAdvisor :

As far as the specific of donating, here's an excellent step by step article:

NPVAdvisor :

.

NPVAdvisor :

.

Customer:

Do i need then to state that to the IRS anything here or do I claim them as if there were mine?

NPVAdvisor :

Just claim them as yours, because they are yours if they were left to you by your father

Customer:

ok thanks...

NPVAdvisor :

The IRS does not care how you came to own things ... (in terms of giving them to a charity) ... they could have been gifts, purchases, handed down from your parents' estate ... that part doesn't matter...

NPVAdvisor :

What they would care about here, is trying to overstate the value, or saying cash contributions were made that were not, etc.

Customer:

How about the valuation? Any recommended practice for estimating the value? Do I have to itemize every single item which would be a big task (over 200 items...) or do I use categories like clothes, Kitchware and estimate the category value?

NPVAdvisor :

Yes, for these types of items categories are fine ... when my father died, my mom used clothes, furniture ... and I think jewelry, for the items that she or neither my brother or I wanted to keep

NPVAdvisor :

read the article I provided when you get a chance...It's an excellent resource and you can always bookmark this page ancd come back here to reference it

Customer:

ok great; anything else i need to be aware of before I conclude?

NPVAdvisor :

No, this is pretty straightforward, just be sure that no one else is claiming the items


 

NPVAdvisor :

And Do keep your records for three years, is always a good idea

NPVAdvisor :

(records of what was donated, receipts, etc)

Customer:

thanks; appreciate your help.

NPVAdvisor :

You're very welcome

NPVAdvisor :

One more thing?

Lane, JD, CFP, MBA, CRPS
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 4222
Experience: Juris Doctorate, CFP and MBA, Providing Financial & Tax advice since 1986
Lane and 6 other Tax Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • I really was impressed with the prompt response. Your expert was not only a tax expert, but a people expert!!! Her genuine and caring attitude came across in her response... T.G.W Matteson, IL
< Last | Next >
  • I really was impressed with the prompt response. Your expert was not only a tax expert, but a people expert!!! Her genuine and caring attitude came across in her response... T.G.W Matteson, IL
  • I WON!!! I just wanted you to know that your original answer gave me the courage and confidence to go into yesterday's audit ready to fight. Bonnie Chesnee, SC
  • Great service. Answered my complex tax question in detail and provided a lot of additional useful information for my specific situation. John Minneapolis, MN
  • Excellent information, very quick reply. The experts really take the time to address your questions, it is well worth the fee, for the peace of mind they can provide you with. Orville Hesperia, California
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP Hesperia, CA
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Wallstreet Esq.

    Tax Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    570
    10 years experience
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/KU/KUMI95/2013-9-30_195031_kumar.64x64.jpg Wallstreet Esq.'s Avatar

    Wallstreet Esq.

    Tax Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    570
    10 years experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/CU/Cuttinggirl/2011-10-29_03719_wcrop2.64x64.jpg Wendy Reed's Avatar

    Wendy Reed

    Enrolled Agent

    Satisfied Customers:

    3052
    15+ years tax preparation and tax advice.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/CATax/2009-08-04_204548_Mark.jpg Mark D's Avatar

    Mark D

    Enrolled Agent

    Satisfied Customers:

    985
    MBA, EA, Specializing in Business and Individual Tax Returns and Issues
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/IN/insearchoftheanswer/2013-8-16_0233_attorney.64x64.jpg Richard's Avatar

    Richard

    Tax Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    3229
    29 years of experience as a tax, real estate, and business attorney.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MY/MyVirtualCPA/2012-7-5_44024_cookmegan1.64x64.jpg Megan C's Avatar

    Megan C

    Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

    Satisfied Customers:

    6121
    Licensed CPA, CFE, CMA who teaches accounting courses at Master's Level
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JG/jgordosea/2012-6-7_43138_GordosVeritas.64x64.jpg jgordosea's Avatar

    jgordosea

    Enrolled Agent

    Satisfied Customers:

    2783
    I've prepared all types of taxes since 1987.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/OZ/ozaukeecpa/2012-6-7_193219_Picture1croppedandshrunk.64x64.jpg MequonCPA's Avatar

    MequonCPA

    Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

    Satisfied Customers:

    2231
    CPA, Over 30 yrs experience w/individuals and small businesses. Masters in Tax.