Vanderbilt Law Review

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"Certainty," Lord Hardwicke declared in 1753, "is the mother of repose and therefore the law aims at certainty."' This note will explore the extent to which the law has missed the mark of certainty in the taxation of trust grantors. The heavy burden of federal income and estate taxation has prompted many persons to divest themselves of property during their lives. The property is usually given to a relative in order to shift the income from the property into a donee's lower tax bracket and to avoid the payment of an estate tax on the property by incurring an inter vivos gift tax which is normally less than the estate tax would have been. Many of these donative transfers of wealth are accomplished by the use of inter vivos trusts. The irrevocable intervivos trust is the most common vehicle employed by trust grantors seeking the above objectives.

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