A: Your mom and dad should not only create a trust, but should also sign a Community Property Agreement. In California, which is a community property state, confirming their assets as community property could save the surviving spouse as much as six figures in taxes one day upon an eventual sale of the home. This is due to the “double step-up in basis” that California residents are able to take advantage of. TIP: If you have parents that have owned real estate for 30+ years, it is imperative that a qualified estate planning attorney research those properties to determine what steps can be taken to reduce tax exposure down the line.
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