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U.S. Supreme Court

Helvering v. Safe Deposit & Trust Co., 316 U.S. 56 (1942)

Helvering v. Safe Deposit & Trust Co.

No. 600

Argued March 9, 1942

Decided April 13, 1942

316 U.S. 56


1. The provision of § 302(a) of the Revenue Act of 1926, that in the gross estate of a decedent there shall be included the value of all property "(a) To the extent of the interest therein of the decedent at the time of his death," does not embrace property as to which he held merely a general testamentary power of appointment which he did not exercise. P. 316 U. S. 57.

This view is compelled by the legislative, judicial, and administrative history of the legislation.

2. Where property in litigation was claimed by relatives of a decedent as appointees under his will, the validity of which was contested, and, in the alternative, as his heirs -- also a matter in dispute -- and a share of the property was allotted to them by a compromise agreement approved by the court, held:

(1) That so much of the share as was properly attributable to their claim under the appointment should be included in the decedent's estate under § 302(f) of the Revenue Act of 1926 as "property passing under a general power of appointment exercised by the decedent . . . by will." P. 316 U. S. 63.

(2) The determination of how much of the share should be imputed to the claim based on the attempted exercise of the power of appointment and how much to the alternative claim -- necessarily an approximation -- was a matter for the Board of Tax Appeals. P. 316 U. S. 66.

121 F.2d 307 reversed.

Certiorari, 314 U.S. 601, to review a judgment affirming a decision of the Board of Tax Appeals, 42 B.T.A. 145. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 316 U. S. 57

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