156 N.Y. 423, In re Gould's Estate

Citation:156 N.Y. 423
Party Name:In the Matter of the Appraisal for Taxation, under the Act in Relation to Taxable Transfers of Property, of the Estate of JAY GOULD, Deceased. GEORGE J. GOULD et al., as Executors and Trustees, Respondents and Appellants; THE COMPTROLLER OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK et al., Appellants and Respondents.
Case Date:October 04, 1898
Court:New York Court of Appeals
 
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Page 423

156 N.Y. 423

In the Matter of the Appraisal for Taxation, under the Act in Relation to Taxable Transfers of Property, of the Estate of JAY GOULD, Deceased. GEORGE J. GOULD et al., as Executors and Trustees, Respondents and Appellants; THE COMPTROLLER OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK et al., Appellants and Respondents.

New York Court of Appeal

October 4, 1898

Argued June 8, 1898.

Page 424

COUNSEL

David B. Hill, John R. Dos Passos and Edmund Francis Harding for the comptrollers of the state and city of New York. The testamentary provision of $5, 000, 000 to George J. Gould was not in payment of any legal debt, but was a gift or gratuity from decedent, and liable as such to taxation. ( Matter of Doty, 7 Misc. Rep. 193; Gibbons' Estate, 16 Phila. 218; Matter of Wright, N.Y. L. J., Nov. 5, 1891; Boughton v. Flint, 74 N.Y. 482; Reynolds v. Robinson, 82 N.Y. 108; Matter of Sidell, N.Y. L. J., March 9, 1893; Matter of Myers, N.Y. L. J., May 26, 1891; Ulrich v. Ulrich, 136 N.Y. 123; Avery v. Ackert, 46 N.Y.S. 1085; Hall v. Hall, 44 N.H. 293; Lendig v. Cooner, 47 Penn. St. 543; Matter of Gallagher, 153 N.Y. 364; Gall v. Gall, 29 Abb. N. C. 19; People ex rel. v. Barker, 150 N.Y. 57; Williams v. Crary, 4 Wend. 444; Fort v. Gooding, 9 Barb. 371.) If there was a contract to pay by will, the payment is, nevertheless, taxable. ( Matter of McPherson, 104 N.Y. 316, 317; Tyson's Appeal, 10 Penn. St. 220; L. 1892, ch. 399; Matter of Green, 153 N.Y. 223; Blackstone, Book II, 294, 378.)

John F. Dillon and Harry Hubbard for the executors and trustees. The legacy in favor of George J. Gould was in satisfaction of a debt, and is not taxable under the Transfer Act. ( Johnson v. Hubbell, 10 N. J. Eq. 332; Jacobson v. Exrs. of La Grange, 3 Johns. 199; Martin v. Wright's Admrs., 13 Wend. 460; Parsell v. Stryker, 41 N.Y. 480; Collier v. Rutledge, 136 N.Y. 621; 1 American Law of Administration, 58; Matter of Rogers, 30 N.Y. S. R. 943; Matter of Hulse, 39 N.Y. S. R. 302; Williamson v. Naylor, 3 Y. & Coll. 208; Hanson on Probate Legacy & Succession

Page 425

Duties Act [2d ed.], 81; Dos Passos on Inheritance Taxes, 127, 190, 229.)

PARKER, Ch. J.

In a codicil to the last will of Jay Gould appears the following: 'My beloved son George J. Gould having developed a remarkable business ability, and having for twelve years devoted himself entirely to my business, and during the past five years...

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