GRAVES V. ELLIOTT, 307 U. S. 383 (1939)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Graves v. Elliott, 307 U.S. 383 (1939)

Graves v. Elliott

No. 372, October Term, 1937

Argued January 9, 1939

Reargued April 28, 1939

Decided May 29, 1939

307 U.S. 383


Decedent, while domiciled in Colorado, transferred to a Colorado bank certain bonds to be held upon certain specified trusts with specified powers in the trustee to administer, invest, reinvest, etc. The trust indenture provided that the trustee should pay over the income to decedent's daughter for life and afterward to the daughter's children until each had reached the age of twenty-five years, when a proportionate share of the principal of the trust fund was to be paid over to such child. In default of such children, the principal was to revert to decedent and pass under her will. She reserved the right to remove the trustee, to change any beneficiary of the trust, and to revoke the trust and revest herself with the title to the property, the trustee in that event undertaking to assign and deliver to her all the securities then constituting the trust fund. After creating the trust, decedent became and remained a domiciled resident of New York, where she died without appointing new beneficiaries of the trust or revoking it. Meanwhile, the trustee continued to administer the trust and held possession of the bonds evidencing the intangible property of the fund. Following her death, the taxing authorities of Colorado assessed a tax on the transmission at death of the trust fund.

Held, that the State of New York could constitutionally levy a

Page 307 U. S. 384

transfer tax upon the relinquishment at death of the power of revocation, measured by the value of the intangibles. Curry v. McCanless, ante, p. 307 U. S. 357. P. 307 U. S. 386.

274 N.Y. 10, 634, 8 N.E.2d 42. 10 N.E.2d 587, reversed.

Certiorari, 305 U.S. 667, to review a judgment, entered on remittitur from the Court of Appeals of New York, which reversed an order of the Surrogates' Court confirming a transfer tax assessment. 248 App.Div. 713, 153 Misc. 70.

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