Tampa, FL asked in Tax Law and Probate for Florida

Q: My brother sent me a check for over $50,000 his name was also on my mother's checking account for the last 2 years

Since his name was on it he said it doesn't have to go through probate so you wrote me a check for over $50,000. Should I cash this check or make him give me multiple checks so the banks don't tell the IRS even though it's inheritance. He wrote inheritance on the check but everything else including the house is going through probate. Should I just cash the check or make him give me multiple checks under $10,000. She passed in May of this year

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1 Lawyer Answer
Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert
  • Probate Lawyer
  • Orlando, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: I am sorry for your loss on the passing of your mother, please accept my condolences. Be glad that you go the check at all and that your brother did what your mom wanted (cash it or deposit it asap), legally your brother had zero obligation to give you even a penny of that money if his name was on the account already as a joint owner or if he was the designated Pay on Death beneficiary. Upon death he legally became the sole owner of those accounts and monies, so it is great that he sent you your part. As far as gift tax, this is usually just a reporting form, form #709, speak to your tax preparer or accountant or look it up, but generally, it is just a reporting form as most people do not end up owing any taxes in their life (this can change if you are a multi-millionaire and thus you need to speak with a tax person), but generally, the first $16,000 for 2022 is fine and sums above that are reported on form 709 but are not taxable (just a reporting and tracking form).

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