BECKER V. ST. LOUIS UNION TRUST CO., 296 U. S. 48 (1935)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Becker v. St. Louis Union Trust Co., 296 U.S. 48 (1935)

Becker v. St. Louis Union Trust Co.

No. 11

Argued October 16, 17, 1935

Decided November 11, 1935

296 U.S. 48


1. Some years before his death, decedent, by declarations of trust, transferred property irrevocably to himself as trustee for the benefit of his children. The instruments provided in each case that, if the beneficiary should die before the settlor, the trust estate should revert to the settlor absolutely, but if the settlor should die first, the property should thereupon become the beneficiary's absolutely. In either of such cases, the trust was to cease. Held, that the transfers were not intended to take effect in possession or enjoyment after the grantor's death, within the meaning of § 302(e), Revenue Act of 1926. Helvering v. St. Louis Union Trust Co., ante, p. 296 U. S. 39. P. 296 U. S. 50.

2. The legal title, possession and control of property may by declaration of trust be passed irrevocably from the grantor to himself as trustee, with the same effect as if the trustee receiving the conveyance had been another person. P. 296 U. S. 50.

3. Decedent, 76 years of age and in excellent health, attending regularly to business and apparently not looking forward in any way to his death, set up trusts for his children, who were all past 21 years of age. So far as appeared, his objects were to make them allowances so that he might be relieved of care in their regard, and to reduce his personal surtaxes. Held, that the evidence was insufficient to show that the transfers were made in contemplation of death. Revenue Act, 1926, § 302(c). P. 296 U. S. 51.

4. The record in this case does not show that the Commissioner of Internal Revenue rested his assessment upon a finding that the transfers in question were made in contemplation of death. P. 296 U. S. 52.

76 F.2d 851 affirmed.

Certiorari to review the reversal of a judgment of the District Court in favor of the Collector in a suit to recover money exacted as an additional estate tax.

Page 296 U. S. 49

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