Sophisticated trust and estate counsel must keep up with near-daily developments in the substantive state law of wills, trusts and estates, as well as state and federal laws of wealth transfer taxation. Because of the sheer volume of statutory law and administrative regulations that estate planners must master, it is easy to lose sight of the important role that federal courts play in shaping the field of estate planning. Federal tax cases are routinely heard by the United States Tax Court, the Federal District Courts, the Court of Federal Claims and appellate courts in all circuits. Yet very few tax cases make it all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States. For this reason, the role of the nation's highest court in the development of estate planning jurisprudence may be under-theorized. This issue of the ACTEC Law Journal considers the role of the United States Supreme Court in interpreting income, estate and gift tax laws and how those interpretations have shaped the development of contemporary estate planning practice.
Bridget J. Crawford, Foreword: The Supreme Court's Estate Planning Jurisprudence, 42 ACTEC L.J. 1 (2016), http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/lawfaculty/1049/.