Clients who have lost their spouses are often overwhelmed and hardly want to think about documentation for tax purposes, so financial advisors understandably might put off tax-related adjustments for a few months.

But advisors shouldn’t wait too long to encourage clients who have lost their spouse to identify and record the allowable partial step-ups in their assets’ cost basis of unrealized capital gains. The tax code allows surviving spouses to take that partial step-up of the cost basis on certain assets.

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