Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Estate of Van Riper v. Director, Division of Taxation

Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division

October 3, 2018

ESTATE OF MARY VAN RIPER, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
DIRECTOR, DIVISION OF TAXATION, Defendant-Respondent.

          Argued September 12, 2018

          On appeal from the Tax Court of New Jersey, Docket No. 8198-2016, whose opinion is reported at 30 N.J.Tax 1 (Tax 2017).

          James J. Curry, Jr., argued the cause for appellant (James J. Curry, Jr., attorney; James J. Curry, Jr. and Timothy J. Petrin, on the briefs).

          Heather L. Anderson, Deputy Attorney General, argued the cause for respondent (Gurbir S. Grewal, Attorney General, attorney; Melissa H. Raksa, Assistant Attorney General, of counsel; Heather L. Anderson, on the brief).

          Andrew J. DeMaio argued the cause for amicus curiae New Jersey State Bar Association (New Jersey State Bar Association, attorneys; Robert B. Hille, of counsel; Andrew J. DeMaio, Glenn A. Henkel, Jill Lebowitz, and Heather G. Suarez, on the brief).

          Edward C. Eastman argued the cause for amicus curiae New Jersey Land Title Association (Davison, Eastman, Munoz, Lederman & Paone, PA, attorneys; Michael J. Fasano, on the brief).

          Before Judges Yannotti, Gilson and Natali.

          OPINION

          YANNOTTI, P.J.A.D.

         The Estate of Mary Van Riper (Estate) appeals from a judgment of the Tax Court, which upheld an assessment by the Director of the Division of Taxation (Division) of inheritance transfer taxes and interest upon the Estate. For the reasons that follow, we affirm.

         I.

         The relevant facts are not in dispute. On December 5, 2007, Walter Van Riper and his wife Mary Van Riper (Van Ripers) established an irrevocable trust to hold certain real and personal property, subject to specified conditions. The real property in question was the Van Ripers's marital home in Sea Girt. Among other things, the trust instrument required the trustee to provide a residence for the Van Ripers during their lifetimes, and to pay all carrying charges for the subject property, including but not limited to taxes, insurance, and utility costs.

         The trust instrument also authorized the trustee to sell the home, but required the trustee to use the funds realized from the sale to provide shelter and housing to the Van Ripers. The trust instrument recognized that Mary might require custodial care, and stated that if such care could be provided in a residential setting, the proceeds of the sale of the home shall be used to acquire such other premises.

         The trust agreement further provided that upon the death of the Van Ripers, the trustee shall distribute any assets remaining in the trust to the Van Ripers's niece. On December 5, 2007, the Van Ripers transferred title to the marital residence to the trust for $1.

         Walter died on December 24, 2007, and Mary died on December 23, 2013. During her lifetime, Mary remained in the home and pursuant to the trust instrument, the home passed to the Van Ripers's niece. On April 2, 2015, the Estate filed with the Division a New Jersey resident decedent inheritance tax return, and reported that no tax was due on the transfer of the home.

         The Division audited the return and determined that $935, 000, the full fair market value of the home at the time Mary died, was part of her estate for inheritance transfer tax purposes.[1] Accordingly, the Division issued an assessment imposing additional taxes and interest upon the Estate. The Estate protested the assessment. On March 22, 2016, the Division issued a final determination, denying the protest and upholding the assessment. The Estate paid the amounts assessed.

         In May 2016, the Estate filed a complaint in the Tax Court, seeking reversal of the Division's final determination and a refund of the amounts paid. In October 2016, the Estate filed a motion for summary judgment. The Division opposed the motion, and filed a cross-motion for summary judgment.

         The Tax Court denied the Estate's motion and granted the Division's cross-motion, for reasons stated in a written opinion filed on February 23, 2017. Estate of Van Riper v. Dir., Div. of Taxation, 30 N.J.Tax 1 (Tax 2017). The Estate appeals. We thereafter granted motions by the New Jersey State Bar Association (NJSBA) and the New Jersey Land Title Association (NJLTA) to participate in the appeal as amici curiae.

         II.

         In New Jersey, an inheritance tax is imposed upon a transfer in the amount of $500 or more of "real or tangible personal property[, ] situated in this State[, ] . . . [that] is transferred by will or by" New Jersey's intestate laws, of a New Jersey resident "dying seized or possessed thereof." N.J.S.A. 54:34- 1(a). The tax also is imposed upon the transfer by will or intestate law of real or tangible personal property of a decedent who is not a resident of New Jersey at the time of death. N.J.S.A. 54:34-l(b). In addition, a tax is imposed on a transfer of property by deed, grant, bargain, sale or gift that is made ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.