For the last ten years I have been the co-tennent on an brokerage account with my father - he was primary, and he managed & paid the annual taxes
on the account. Then three years ago after my mother died, Dad changed the brokerage account rules
so that I was the primary account holder making the investment decisions. (His name remained on the account, in case something happened to me it would revert to him.) I was given full control of the account in terms of investments / divestments / changes of allocations etc. and I've paid the income taxes
on the account for for 2010, 2011, and 2012.
A couple weeks ago Daddy passed, without a will, and I'm interested in finding out whether it's right that this brokerage account would be brought back into the estate for valuation purposes. (Thereby raising the estate level to where I'd be required to pay additional taxes).
My question arises because I've been paying the annual taxes and managing the account for 3+ years, and it seems wrong that I would have to pay taxes again on something I've been paying taxes on already. Had I withdrawn and squandered the money I wouldn't owe anything.
My father lived and died in New York State.
Thanks for your time.