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Thursday, August 13, 2015

Ind. Decisions - Tax Court posts one today, filed Aug. 12

In Indiana Department of State Revenue, Inheritance Tax Division v. Steven B. McCombs, Executor of the Estate of Janic Hamblin, an 8-page opinion, Sr. Judge Fisher writes:

The Indiana Department of State Revenue, Inheritance Tax Division (Department) appeals the Fountain Circuit Court’s (Probate Court) order determining that the Estate of Janice Hamblin (Estate) was entitled to a refund of inheritance tax paid. The sole issue before the Court is whether the Probate Court erred when it held that through her Will, Janice Hamblin transferred interests in life estates, as opposed to annuities, to her beneficiaries Larry Hamblin and Misty Snuffer. The Court finds that the Probate Court did not err. * * *

The Court finds that the language of Janice’s Will as a whole demonstrates her intent to convey life estates to Larry and Misty. See In re Estate of Owen, 855 N.E.2d 603, 609 (Ind. Ct. App. 2006) (explaining that “[i]n both the will and trust contexts, substance trumps form”). As a result, the Probate Court did not err when it determined that for Indiana inheritance tax purposes, those interests were to be valued as life estates and not as annuities.

CONCLUSION. For the above stated reasons, the Court AFFIRMS the Probate Court’s entry of summary judgment in favor of the Estate and against the Department.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on August 13, 2015 12:57 PM
Posted to Ind. Tax Ct. Decisions