Thought you'd gone on for good. Nice to see you're still about. I have a question (if you don't mind). My wife inherited some shares of Merrill Lynch's Dow 10 (Dogs of the Dow) in Feb. of '97. She later moved her account to a local brokerage and sold her shares in APR '00.
During tax preparation, we could find no documentation to establish cost basis, and Merrill Lynch has not been forthcoming with any records. We have both been subjected to buck-passing, phone tag and just plain "hoping we'll go away". Our second extension is ticking away and I still haven't made any headway. Do you have any recommendations?
Suggest you contact the attorney who handled the estate from where your wife got the stocks in Feb. 1997. The basis becomes the date of death value and that should be reflected on the estate tax return, if one was filed. If the overall estate was small, and an estate return was not filed, the attorney may still have valued all of the stocks in the estate when he did his inventory.
danpatchfan is absolutely correct in what he says. I have just been through the scenario of having an estate divided between three siblings. The estate was valued at the time of the death of the person who owned the stocks, mutual funds, and annuities. The lawyer who handled the probation of the will, and the subsquent estate, should have a detailed record of such, and your wife should have received an accounting of that through the lawyer, through registered mail at the time of setlement.