Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

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

Monday, April 27, 2020

Article on Gifts in Contemplation of Death: Why Can't Section 2035 Simply Die?

TaxclockStephanie J. Willbanks recently published an Article entitled, Gifts in Contemplation of Death: Why Can't Section 2035 Simply Die?, Wills, Trusts, & Estates Law eJournal (2020). Provided below is the abstract to the Article.

Income and wealth inequality has become a popular topic. There are a myriad of ways to reduce such inequality utilizing the tax system, either the income tax or the transfer taxes. Revitalizing the estate tax by reducing the exemption amount and adjusting the rate structure would reduce inequality. Much has been written about the viability of the estate tax and possible alternatives. This article does not revisit that analysis. Instead, it assumes that the estate tax will remain a viable component of the overall tax system. It analyzes one small segment of the estate tax – §2035 – and argues that repeal would simplify the estate tax without reducing revenues. Commentators have advocated for integration and simplification of the gift and estate tax provisions governing retained interests for over 70 years, but §2035 has received relatively little attention.


Articles, Current Affairs, Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally, Income Tax | Permalink


The strongest parts of her argument seem to be the arbitrariness of a bright line three year deathbed transfer rule and the unnecessary complexities of chapter 14. But on the question whether there should be a tax policy to encourage lifetime transfers, she states flatly that the inclusive/exclusive differential "cannot be justified," while a few sentences later acknowleging "this is not a universal view."

Posted by: Russ Willis | Apr 28, 2020 9:38:28 AM

Post a comment