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Ellis & Winters prepares amicus brief in U.S. Supreme Court case involving novel issues of trust taxation

Stephen D. Feldman

Scottie Forbes Lee

Thomas H. Segars

Preetha Suresh Rini


On February 28, Ellis & Winters attorneys filed an amicus brief in the Supreme Court of the United States in North Carolina Department of Revenue v. The Kimberley Rice Kaestner 1992 Family Trust. The case concerns whether a state violates the Due Process Clause in the United States Constitution by taxing income in a trust based on the trust beneficiary being an in-state resident of the taxing state.

Ellis & Winters prepared the amicus brief on behalf of trust law scholars across the country. The brief reviews the history of trusts, distills the key features of modern trusts that evolved from that history, and shows that those key features point to a beneficiary as a central constituent in the trust relationship. The brief then applies these principles to the question presented in Kaestner, arguing that taxing trust income based on a beneficiary’s in-state residency satisfies the Due Process Clause.

Stephen Feldman, Tom SegarsScottie Lee, and Preetha Suresh Rini prepared the brief. A copy of the brief can be found at this link. A copy of all filings in the case can be found here. The Supreme Court will hear oral argument in Kaestner on April 16.

March 4, 2019 Scottie Forbes Lee Thomas H. Segars
Posted in  News