Toward a Reality-Based Estate Tax

25 Pages Posted: 22 May 2016 Last revised: 30 Aug 2016

See all articles by Wendy C. Gerzog

Wendy C. Gerzog

University of Baltimore - School of Law

Date Written: May 20, 2016


Currently, the estate tax does not accurately value the property and transactions that it is meant to cover. Additionally, the marital and charitable deductions do not reflect actual associated transfers, instead skewing their benefits away from their purported beneficiaries. This Article proposes reforming the estate tax by eliminating these sources of unreality and distortion, and to make the current estate tax a reality-based tax. Through six specific proposals, the Article identifies solutions to the problems associated with testamentary transfers, puts forth alternative methods of valuation to prevent gaming of transfer taxes, and offers significant modifications to two deduction provisions.

Keywords: estate tax, valuation, FLP discounts, GRAT, CLAT, actuarial tables, QTIP, charitable deduction, marital deduction

JEL Classification: H24, K19, K34

Suggested Citation

Gerzog, Wendy C., Toward a Reality-Based Estate Tax (May 20, 2016). Boston College Law Review, Vol. 57, No. 3, 2016, University of Baltimore School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2016-09, Available at SSRN:

Wendy C. Gerzog (Contact Author)

University of Baltimore - School of Law ( email )

1420 N. Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21218
United States
410-837-4522 (Phone)

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