Estate of Alfred Richard v. Commissioner U.S. Tax Court (U.S. Tax Court)

Decedent Alfred Richard and his wife, Mrs. Richard owned 600 and 140 shares of Class A preferred stock in A.J. Richard & Sons. Upon Mrs. Richard’s passing on October 15, 1997, her will was not offered for probate until November 2010. At time of decedent’s death, December 2004, the Form 706 filed reported all 740 shares of preferred stock (600 belonging to decedent and 140 to wife). The rediscovery of Mrs. Richard’s will in September 2010 raised the issue of whether decedent’s estate should include the 140 shares in his estate or if these shares should be included in Mrs. Richard’s estate which would thereafter pass to a credit shelter trust created by her will. The Court determined that because of the rediscovery of Mrs. Richard’s will, the lack of dominion and control that decedent had over her shares, and the fact that title still remained in Mrs. Richard’s name in the company’s ledgers as of the decedent’s death, the 140 shares would best be included in the estate of Mrs. Richard.