Tax Planning/estate planning


I hav been diagnosed with lung cancer and want to arrange things for my son.  The problem is I have real estate that is now worth about half what I paid for it seven years ago with no buyer in sight as well as some that I could sell for a profit. Additionally I have been carrying capital losses for years that I would be able to offset the profit on the ones that have appreciated.  If both kinds of property are still in my estate I'm wondering how to structure things so my son can take advantage of the losses I have been carrying all these years rather than pay tax on the profitable ones when he eventually sells them. Can he keep the estate alive and file tax returns using the losses to offset whatever profit?

Clem - the answer will depend on whether your trust is a revocable trust or not.  Unfortunately, when you pass away (and there are other sub-rules to this) your capital loss carry forwards die with you.  And, for property that has gone down, it is a double whammy because instead of getting a step up in basis (a good thing) your heirs get a step down in basis.  But, it might work out just as good anyway as far as the assets are concerned, depending on the total value.  But as far as the capital loss carry-forwards, there is no way to preserve them after death.

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As an Enrolled Agent, I am fully capable of providing tax advice as it relates to personal and business income taxes. Enrolled Agents are the only Federally licensed tax practitioners and are admitted to practice before all administrative functions of the IRS. My specialty is working with small business owners who file Schedule "C" and helping them to structure their business in such a way as to maximize as many tax advantages as possible. I also enjoy working with individuals who have both routine as well as complex tax situations. I prefer to concentrate on individuals and small business tax planning.


I have a 25 year background in financial services including tax, bookkeeping, insurance, real estate and securities. I was previously the Chief Financial Officer of a local and national franchise organization. I am currently semi-retired, but used to own (in partnership with another EA) an individual and small business financial engineering firm where I work with nearly 2,500 individuals and small business owners in nearly every state and almost every continent, assisting them in all aspects of their tax and financial well-being. I have prepared or reviewed more than 8,000 tax returns in my career.

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Enrolled Agent, Admitted to Practice Before the IRS, Accredited Tax Preparer, Fellow of National Tax Practice Institute, Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor (1999-2011), Sleeter Group Certified QuickBooks Consultant, Life & Disability Insurance Agent License (California, Texas, Maine), Real Estate Agent License (California); Many years of continuing education in all these fields.

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