07 March 2019

Malviya Involved in Amicus Brief for U.S. Supreme Court

Raj Malviya, a partner in the Private Client Practice Group of Miller Johnson, is a Fellow in the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC). Through his capacity on the fiduciary income tax committee, he was invited to be part of a committee of eight other national trust and estate experts to draft and file an amicus brief with the United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS) on a trust income tax case getting national attention.

The case is North Carolina Department of Revenue v. the Kimberley Rice Kaestner 1992 Family Trust (Kaestner). Kaestner involves the constitutionality of North Carolina’s ability to tax a trust under its state law if a contingent beneficiary of the trust is a resident of the state.

Other members of the amicus brief drafting committee included Greg Gadarian, David Berek, Jonathan Blattmachr, Jane Ditelberg, Mitchell Gans, Carl King, Richard Nenno, and Charles Redd.  The ACTEC Amicus Review Committee also analyzed, contributed to, and finalized the work product before submission.  This comprehensive and important brief was done under extreme time limits and was filed on March 1, 2019.

Review of Kaestner is timely as it follows SCOTUS’ recent opinion issued in South Dakota v. Wayfair.  The issue of state and local taxation in the trust context is rarely reviewed by SCOTUS and although the application of the issue in Kaestner is extremely narrow, a ruling from SCOTUS on this issue will have national influence on state taxation of trusts.  The North Carolina Supreme Court held favorably for the taxpayer.  Oral argument on Kaestner is set for Tuesday, April 16, 2019.

ACTEC took no position in the Kaestner case but filed the amicus brief to “assist the Court in understanding the history and practice of state fiduciary income taxation as applied to accumulated income in nongrantor trusts and the complexities of such statutes in the context of the multi-state contacts common in today’s mobile society.”

Raj A. Malviya, J.D., LL.M. (Tax), practices in all areas of transfer tax and fiduciary income tax planning for private clients. Mr. Malviya has written and presented on the topic of state fiduciary income taxation in multiple state and national publications, platforms and conferences. He serves on the State Bar of Michigan Probate and Estate Planning Council, Directed and Divided Trusteeship and Uniform Fiduciary Income and Principal Act Committees for the Council. Mr. Malviya is a member of the Real Property Trusts and Estates and Taxation Sections of the American Bar Association (ABA) and is a Fellow of the ACTEC.  He is active in the Fiduciary Income Tax and Transfer Tax Committees of the ABA and ACTEC. Mr. Malviya is ranked by Chambers in the annual High Net Worth Guide and recognized in Best Lawyers in America for both trusts and estates and tax law.

The American College of Trust & Estate Counsel is a nonprofit organization of more than 2,500 trust and estate lawyers and law professors from throughout the United States, Canada, Central and South America, Europe, and Asia.  ACTEC is dedicated to enhancing trust and estate law and practice through research, education, technical advice to governments, and, on rare occasions, offering assistance to courts in understanding this area of the law. More information can be found at

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