The manifest reluctance in recent years on the part of the Supreme Court to declare any provision of the Federal Estate Tax unconstitutional may have given rise to the assumption that there are no constitutional limitations on the transfers which Congress can tax under the estate tax. One of the 1949 amendments to the tax should test the validity of this assumption. In an effort to bring some order out of the chaos stemming immediately from Helvering v. Hallock, and immediately from Spiegel's Estate v. Commissioner, Congress provided recently that a transfer after October 7, 1949, shall be deemed to be a transfer taking effect at death, even though the transferor retains no interest in the property transferred, provided that "possession or enjoyment of the property can be obtained only by surviving the decedent."
Charles L.B. Lowndes,
The Constitutionality of the New Federal Estate Tax Definition of a Transfer Taking Effect at Death,
3 Vanderbilt Law Review
Available at: https://scholarship.law.vanderbilt.edu/vlr/vol3/iss2/12