The AT&T "Family" of Securities in an Estate
The AT&T Estate Problem:
Dieing solves the cost basis problem. When someone dies, the cost basis of inherited stock is the stock price on the date of death.
The problems we see are usually about who inherits what stock.
Someone who owned AT&T before the divestiture, January 1, 1984, and dies 20+ years later could be leaving behind a mess. Typically, one or more of the heirs or beneficiaries are to receive AT&T or some combination of the "Baby Bells". Due to all the business combinations after the AT&T divestiture, the combination of securities that existed when the will or trust(s) was created is different than when distributions need to be made.
Here is an example of the problem -
The will was created in 1984.
Heir 1 was to receive AT&T.
Heir 2 was to receive BellSouth, American Information Tech (renamed later to Ameritech) and Bell Atlantic.
Heir 3 was to receive Nynex, Pacific Telesis, Southwestern Bell (renamed later to SBC Communications) and US West.
When the decedent died in 2005, there was a completely different mix of AT&T related securities. When distributions were made in 2007, there was a different mix of AT&T related securities than existed in 2005.
We ran the computations for the estate to solve the estate distribution problems.
You can use the AT&T Divestiture Basis Tracker to sort out this mess. If you don't want to do this yourself, we can sort this mess out for you [call 1-800-326-6686].
Denver Tax Software, Inc.
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