Justia Trusts & Estates Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals
Estate of Anne W. Morgens v. CIR
The Estate appealed the Tax Court's decision that it owed additional estate taxes. At issue was whether gift taxes paid by the donee trustees of a Qualifying Terminable Interest in Property (QTIP) trust, based on a 26 U.S.C. 2519 deemed inter vivos transfer of the QTIP property within three years of the donor's death, must be included in the transferor's gross estate under the so-called "gross-up rule" of section 2035(b). The court held that it did. Therefore, the court held that the decedent paid the gift tax on the section 2519 transfers of the Residual Trusts and her estate should be increased under the gross-up rule by the value of the gifts paid. View "Estate of Anne W. Morgens v. CIR" on Justia Law
Naify Revocable Trust, et al. v. United States
In this federal estate tax refund action, the Marshal Naify Revocable Trust appealed the district court's decision granting the Government's motion for judgment on the pleadings pursuant to Rule 12(c). After Naify's death, the Estate deducted $62 million on its federal estate tax return for the estimated amount of California income that it might owe on the $660 million gain if Naify's California tax avoidance plan failed. The court affirmed the judgment and agreed with the district court that the settlement amount was dispositive because it "determine[d] as a factual matter how much the claim against the estate [was] worth and [was] the only moment at which the value of the claim [became] 'certain.'" View "Naify Revocable Trust, et al. v. United States" on Justia Law
Nachshin, et al. v. AOL, LLC
This case involved a proposed class action settlement between AOL and plaintiffs where the parties agreed that AOL would make a series of charitable donations. At issue was whether the district court abused its discretion in approving the proposed class action settlement, including a proposed cy pres settlement distribution. The court held that the cy pres distributions here did not comport with the court's cy pres standards. While the donations were made on behalf of a nationwide plaintiff class, they were distributed to geographically isolated and substantively unrelated charities. The court concluded that the district court judge did not have to recuse herself pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 455(a) or (b)(4), 5(iii). The court declined to address the issue of whether the class notice was sufficient. Accordingly, the court reversed in part, affirmed in part, and remanded.
Commissioner of Internal Revenue v. Estate of Anne Y. Petter, et al.
This case arose when taxpayer transferred membership units in a family-owned LLC partly as a gift and partly by a sale to two trusts and coupled the transfers with simultaneous gifts of LLC units to two charitable foundations. Subsequent to an IRS audit, which determined that the units had been undervalued, the foundations discovered they would receive additional units. At issue was whether the taxpayer was entitled to a charitable deduction equal to the value of the additional units the foundations would receive. The court held that Treasury Regulation 25.2522(c)-3(b)(1) did not bar a charitable deduction equal to the value of the additional units the foundations would receive. Therefore, the court affirmed the judgment.