Estate of Floy M. Christensen - Page 22

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          support of that contention.6                                                
               Respondent counters the estate’s position as follows:                  
                    The bare fact that Floy Christensen’s children                    

               6The estate also argues that, even if it were necessary to             
          show decedent’s donative intent as a prerequisite to finding that           
          the transfers of funds withdrawn by the November 1995 checks and            
          the January 1996 checks constitute nontaxable gifts,                        
               the only evidence bearing upon Floy Christensen’s                      
               intent is the declaration of Stewart Christensen * * *.                
               In particular, paragraphs 4, 5 and 9 of Stewart                        
               Christensen’s declaration clearly state that Floy                      
               Christensen and her husband embarked upon a lifetime                   
               gifting program, which program Floy Christensen contin-                
               ued upon the death of her husband.  In later years,                    
               this gifting program was carried out by Floy                           
               Christensen’s son and daughter on her behalf, with her                 
               concurrence, and in keeping with the long-established                  
               gifting program.                                                       
               We are not required to, and we shall not, rely on the                  
          uncorroborated affidavit of Mr. Christensen.  There is no reli-             
          able evidence in the record establishing to our satisfaction                
          either a lifetime gifting program by decedent and her husband or            
          decedent’s continuation of that alleged program after the death             
          of her husband.  Although the record does contain a handwritten             
          summary prepared by Mr. Christensen which summarized certain                
          checks written on the Seafirst joint account during 1984, 1985,             
          and 1989 through Jan. 9, 1996, that summary is conclusory, and we           
          do not find it persuasive.                                                  
               Assuming arguendo that we were to have found that a lifetime           
          gifting program had been carried out by decedent and her husband            
          and by decedent alone after her husband’s death, the record                 
          belies the allegation of Mr. Christensen in his affidavit that              
          the issuance by him or Ms. Hastie of the November 1995 checks and           
          the January 1996 checks was done with the concurrence of dece-              
          dent.  We have found that from at least Sept. 30, 1994, to the              
          date of her death, decedent suffered from progressive dementia              
          and exhibited severely impaired cognitive skills, including poor            
          short-term and long-term memory.  On the record before us, we               
          find that the estate has failed to show that decedent possessed             
          the requisite mental ability to have concurred in the making of             
          any alleged gifts by the issuance of the November 1995 checks and           
          the January 1996 checks.                                                    

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