Estate Taxation of Reversions

F. Philip Manns, Jr., New Reasons to Remember the Estate Taxation of Reversions, 44 Real Prop. Tr. & Est. L.J. 323 (2009), available at BePress. Michael Yu Professor F. Philip Manns, Jr.'s article, "New Reasons to Remember the Estate Tax of Reversions," might have been cheekily (but not inappropriately) titled, "Everything You Really Need to Know about the Estate Tax of Reversions." A reversion, per Professor Manns, "exists whenever a transferor transfers less than all she owns." (footnote 12 at P. 327.) In its first main part, the article focuses on how a reversion can arise not only from the transferor's intent but also from inartful drafting and even by statute or common law decision; in its second main part, the article addresses the gift and estate tax treatment of reversions (however they are created). Among the many strengths of the article, perhaps its most significant contribution to the existing literature is Professor Manns' detailed explanation of how to calculate, for purposes of Internal Revenue Code sections 2033 and 2037, the value of a transferor's reversion. Professor Manns indicates that "no case law, administrative pronouncement, or commentary instructs people how to make such calculations." (P. 354.) Many sources address the calculations by referring the reader to Revenue Ruling 76-178, 1976-1 CB 273. But that Revenue Ruling merely gives answers without any explanation. In his article, Professor Manns explains the required "probability theory and life contingency actuarial mathematics" (P. 354.) and then impressively provides sample calculations showing all of his work. Continue reading "Estate Taxation of Reversions"

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