Estate of Linderme v. Commissioner
United States Tax Court
52 T.C. 305 (1969)
Emil Linderme Sr. executed a quitclaim deed giving full property rights in his house to his three sons. Linderme showed the deed to only one son, who filed the deed with other papers belonging to his father. Linderme then continued to live alone in the house and paid all expenses relating to it until he moved to a nursing home. The house remained empty until Linderme’s death, when the other two sons became aware of their ownership interests. The house was eventually sold. Some of the sale proceeds were used to pay expenses belonging to Linderme’s estate (plaintiff), and the remaining proceeds were divided among the three sons. The commissioner of Internal Revenue (commissioner) (defendant) determined that the house was part of Linderme’s gross estate because Linderme had retained a right to possess and enjoy the house after transferring it. Accordingly, the commissioner assessed estate taxes on the house. Linderme’s estate petitioned for a determination that the house was not part of the gross estate because Linderme had fully transferred ownership to his sons while he was still alive. The estate argued that, by itself, Linderme’s occupation of the house for a period of time after the transfer was insufficient to establish that Linderme had retained a right to possess or enjoy the property.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Tannenwald, J.)
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