Miller v. Pennsylvania (majority)Annotate this Case
Appellees (husband and wife) created The Dorothy M. Miller Family Irrevocable Trust, naming Mrs. Miller as settlor, and her and her husband as co-trustees. The sole beneficiaries of the trust were appellees and their only child. Appellees transferred title to their house and farm to the trust, but did not pay realty transfer tax on the transfer, claiming it was an excluded transaction under the Realty Transfer Tax Act as a transfer to a "living trust." The Department of Revenue issued a Realty Transfer Tax Notice of Determination providing the transfer was subject to realty transfer taxes, plus applicable interest and fees. Appellees unsuccessfully petitioned for redetermination with the Department’s Board of Appeals. The Commonwealth Court reversed, finding that Mrs. Miller's testimony that she intended the Trust to be a substitute for her will was sufficient to define it as a living trust. The Commonwealth appealed. The Supreme Court found the Miller Trust failed to meet the statutory definition of a living trust or will substitute. As such, the Court reversed and remanded for calculation of transfer tax.