The Yale Law Journal Pocket Part: The Estate Tax Fundamentals of Celebrity and Control

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Authors Mitchell M. Gans, Bridget J. Crawford, and Jonathan G. Blattmachr previously “suggested in [The Pocket Part] that post-death publicity rights could be excluded from the decedent’s estate for tax purposes if state legislation precluded the decedent from exercising post-death control.” In the latest issue of The Pocket Part they respond to Professor Joshua Tate’s rebuttal of their original piece. The authors argue that Tate’s contention “that under current law, estate tax inclusion would be required regardless of the decedent’s ability to exercise control. . . .[meaning] the estate tax would apply even if the legislation vested those rights in the decedent’s oldest daughter and even if the decedent had no right to alter this outcome” represents an unsupportable view of the law. Gans, Crawford, and Blattmachr argue that “Tate’s analysis misconstrues fundamental estate tax principles and misunderstands the precedents on which he relies.”

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