Found Treasure In Grandpa's House

Hartley's grandfather passed away, and as they were liquidating the estate, they discovered a trunk in the basement with gold bars in it. Hartley doesn't know what to do with the money if she gets it.

QUESTION: Hartley in Los Angeles is calling because her grandfather passed away, and as they were liquidating the estate, they discovered a trunk in the basement with gold bars in it. There are several family members involved, and they’ve agreed on how to divide it. Hartley doesn’t know what to do with the money if she gets it.

ANSWER: You’re not going to have any taxes. It’s inherited property. As long as you sell it within six months of his death, it’s assumed that you sold at market value, and that is your basis in it if you inherit the property. I assume this estate is being probated properly. It doesn’t sound like there’s an attorney involved here and you guys are running this through probate. It sounds like you guys found some gold bars in the basement, and you’re handing them out. You could get in a pinch doing this, so you need to properly probate the estate. That way, somebody doesn’t come back on you later and say they gave you those gold bars but found out the law says they’re the children, and the children are due the inheritance—not the grandchildren. And even though you all agreed to this plan, now they’re going to sue you because $100,000 is involved.

You need to properly probate the estate, and whatever agreement the family has come to is made a permanent legal record. Then, you shop the gold and find out what it’s worth. You need to get more than one opinion as to what they’re buying gold bars by the ounce for. Get multiple bids because that way you’ll know you’re doing the right thing.

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