Abstract: Motivated by the pricing of American options for baskets we consider a parabolic variational inequality in a bounded polyhedral domain with a continuous piecewise smooth obstacle. We formulate a fully discrete method by using piecewise linear finite elements in space and the backward Euler method in time. We define an a posteriori error estimator and show that it gives an upper bound for the error in . The error estimator is localized in the sense that the size of the elliptic residual is only relevant in the approximate non-contact region, and the approximability of the obstacle is only relevant in the approximate contact region. We also obtain lower bound results for the space error indicators in the non-contact region, and for the time error estimator. Numerical results for show that the error estimator decays with the same rate as the actual error when the space meshsize and the time step tend to zero. Also, the error indicators capture the correct behavior of the errors in both the contact and the non-contact regions.