Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Charitable Bequest Reduced by Lawsuits and Taxes

Gavel2The recent Tax Court decision in Estate of Eileen S. Belmont serves as a cautionary tale. The problems for the estate seemed to arise out of a lack of communication with the estate's accountant combined with the estate plan not considering Ms. Belmont's individual family situation. Belmont left $50,000 to her brother and the rest of her estate, including her Ohio home, her California condo that her brother lived in, and a retirement account, to the Columbus Jewish Foundation. However, after the accountant for the estate claimed a charitable set aside deduction of $219,580 without being informed of pending litigation in California involving Belmont's brother attempting to gain a life estate in the condo, the estate was hit with a $75,662 income tax deficiency.

See Peter J Reilly, Estate Intended for Charity Depleted by Litigation and Income Tax, Forbes, Feb. 24, 2015.

Special thanks to Jim Hillhouse (Professional Legal Marketing (PLM, Inc.)) for bringing this article to my attention.


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