Jewish World Review Oct. 18, 1999 /8 Mar-Cheshvan, 5760
Find the value of your stocks
DEAR BRUCE: Thirty years ago, I purchased stock in two different companies. As of today I am uncertain as to the worth of these stocks, or if the companies even exist. I would appreciate any advice you could give me on how to obtain information regarding the stocks I own. -- E.T.
DEAR E.T.: To track down the value, if any, of stock certificates, you can contact the Securities and Exchange Commission at (800) SEC-0330, or visit their Web site at www.sec.gov.
DEAR BRUCE: I am a retired farmer, and I have 120 acres of Iowa farmland which I rent for $10,000 net after taxes. My other income is $722 a month from Social Security. If I sell the land for $100,000, I would be left with $60,000 after paying the capital gains tax. How can I invest the $100,000 without too much risk so that I get a higher return? -- J.K., Denver, Iowa
DEAR J.K.: I don't know where your $40,000 tax figure comes from. The home is very likely your homestead, which means there is no tax on that. The tax on the acreage would be, at most, capital gains. I don't think your taxes are going to be that high. If you are going to sell the acreage for $100,000, that means you are currently earning 10 percent with almost no risk. It would seem to me that this would probably be the best way to keep it. Yes, you could earn a higher rate of return with a degree of risk, but in this instance, I don't think it's too advisable.
DEAR BRUCE: Please tell me, what is a quitclaim? What are its benefits? If I were to quitclaim my property to my kids, when do I pay the taxes? Do I pay when my kids pay? -- A Reader
DEAR READER: A quitclaim simply means that you give up all rights to a piece of real property. You do not give up responsibilities, however. If there is a mortgage and another party fails to pay, they can come after you, even though you have no rights to the property. The same holds true for the taxes -- you are responsible if the other party fails to pay them. The main benefit of a quitclaim is that it is quick and
Send your questions to JWR contributor Bruce Williams by clicking here. (Questions of general interest will be answered in future columns. Owing to the volume of mail, personal replies cannot be provided.) Interested in buying or selling a house? Let Bruce Williams' "House Smart" be your guide. (Sales of the book help fund JWR).
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