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MEYER V. UNITED STATES, 364 U. S. 410 (1960)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Meyer v. United States, 364 U.S. 410 (1960)

Meyer v. United States

No. 13

Argued October 12, 1960

Decided November 21, 1960

364 U.S. 410


The proceeds of two life insurance policies were made payable in monthly payments to the insured's wife for her lifetime, but, if she should die before the expiration of 20 years, his daughter was to receive the payments until the 20 years had elapsed. When he died, he was survived by his wife and daughter, and each insurance company determined and set up on its books a sum representing the amount necessary to fund the 240 monthly payments for the 20 years and a separate sum representing the amount necessary to fund the monthly payments to the wife so long as she might live beyond the 240 months.

Held: the decedent's estate was not entitled to a marital deduction under § 812(e) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1939, even with respect to that portion of the proceeds necessary to fund the monthly payments to the wife so long as she might live beyond the 240 months, since the proceeds of each policy constituted a single "property" and the interest passing to the wife might "terminate or fail" and another person might "possess or enjoy [a] part of such property after such termination or failure." Pp. 364 U. S. 410-416.

275 F.2d 83 affirmed.

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