Hi, I can help with this
First, I'm sorry to hear of your fathers passing
Were there other siblings, or were any of hid belongings bequested to others?
"his" belongings (sorry for the typo)
i have six other sisters; no other belongings were bequested to others..
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
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
as per the will
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
Did you per chance file a small estate affadavit?
No, you beat me to if
for a small estate in many estates it's not neccessary
Then yes, they belong to you and you can do as you please, including denoting them to charities
Sorry (in many states)
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.
As far as the specific of donating, here's an excellent step by step article:
Do i need then to state that to the IRS anything here or do I claim them as if there were mine?
Just claim them as yours, because they are yours if they were left to you by your father
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...
What they would care about here, is trying to overstate the value, or saying cash contributions were made that were not, etc.
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?
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
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
ok great; anything else i need to be aware of before I conclude?
No, this is pretty straightforward, just be sure that no one else is claiming the items
And Do keep your records for three years, is always a good idea
(records of what was donated, receipts, etc)
thanks; appreciate your help.
You're very welcome
One more thing?