Sunday, November 19, 2017
Paula Tyler and Mark Alcorn were raised by their mother, Connie Smith, and stepfather, Donald Hitzhusen. The couple later divorced, but Hitzhusen remained close to Tyler and Alcorn. Close enough, in fact, that he left them 77% of his $1.9 million estate. Because the distribution occurred in Iowa, Tyler and Alcorn were subject to a $200,000 inheritance tax. The pair challenged the validity of the tax, claiming that they were essentially being punished for the divorce of their parents. The court did not buy the argument and held that the Iowa Legislature’s goal to promote family cohesion was legitimate.
See David Pitt, Court: Kids of Divorced Stepparent Must Pay Inheritance Tax, Los Angeles Times, November 17, 2017.
Special thanks to Jim Hillhouse (Professional Legal Marketing (PLM, Inc.) for bringing this article to my attention.