This paper was published as a Faculty Working Paper (no. 185)for the Lubin School of Business, Center for Applied Research, September 1999.

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Sophisticated estate planning encompasses the concept of valuation discounting. Discounting can be accomplished by transferring fractional parts of a property interest, or arranging things so that only a fractional part is owned at death. A minority and/or market discount is claimed for the fractional interest. The IRS has unsuccessfully challenged fractionalization using an "aggregation theory" under which interests of family members in the property are combined into a majority interest, precluding a minority discount. In two 1999 Tax Court cases, the IRS also lost when it attempted to expand its "aggregation theory" to include stock held in a so-called "QTIP" trust. This paper examines these cases and also explores other estate tax issues.