Does inherited home give me a larger SALT deduction?


Q. I was my aunt’s sole beneficiary and the executor of her estate. She owned her house, and the lawyer I hired to close the estate took a very long time to have the house deed put in my name. When did I officially become the owner of her house? If it was the day she died, I can file two years of amended tax returns and claim a larger SALT deduction?
— Niece

A. It depends on the language in your aunt’s will.

If the will specifically gave the real property to the beneficiary, then the beneficiary owned the house on the date of death, said Shirley Whitenack, an estate planning attorney with Schenck, Price, Smith & King in Florham Park.

“However, if the house was not specifically devised but instead was part of the residuary estate, then the house was owned by the estate until it was transferred by the executor to the beneficiary,” Whitenack said. “The residuary estate is all of the property, whether real or personal, that was not specifically devised to a beneficiary.”

Time to go back and examine that will, and if you’re not sure, consult with an experienced estate planning attorney.

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This story was originally published in April 26, 2019. presents certain general financial planning principles and advice, but should never be viewed as a substitute for obtaining advice from a personal professional advisor who understands your unique individual circumstances.