You needn’t own property to be able to claim a capital loss when it is sold, as this case shows. A woman paid to remodel a house owned by her mother-in-law. The two orally agreed that she would share in the proceeds when the home was sold. But after the mother-in-law died, the property was sold and she received nothing. So she sued to recover her share and settled for an amount less than her investment. The Tax Court said that although she did not have any legal interest in the property, she was an equitable owner and this had a capital loss (Brooks, TC Memo. 2013-141).