My wife died. What taxes will I owe on a home sale?


Q. My wife passed away in March of 2020. We owned the home jointly, but prior to her passing we put the house in my name solely. What are the capital gains tax implications of this change when I sell the house?
— Alone now

A. We’re sorry to hear about the loss of your wife.

A lot has to do with timing when it comes to taxation when you sell your home.

Typically, singles can exclude $250,000 in gains and those married filing jointly can exclude $500,000.

Assuming your wife had owned and lived in your home for two of the last five years, you may be eligible to exclude $500,000 of gain on the sale of your residence, said Gail Rosen, a Martinsville-based certified public accountant.

“To qualify for the $500,000 exclusion, your home must be sold within two years of your spouse’s death,” she said. “If your spouse does not satisfy these requirements, you would qualify for $250,000 of gain on the sale, assuming you owned and lived in your home at least two of the last five years.”

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This story was originally published on June 11, 2021. 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.