Three reasons

To try to show the dynaimcs behind the delay of the estate tax return, the letters about the reasons given to the IRS for the delay; the appraisal, gifts, and debt, are grouped below. Please judge for yourself.

(1) Does division and delay divert attention from the actual money trail?

(2) Does it look as if the accountants use a trusting family member to frame another family member to make it appear that the family, rather than the accountants, is responsible for the division and delay?



I don't understand the timing:

  • The appraised value of Accotink increased from $75,000 to $300,000 on 3/?/88, and from $300,000 to $600,000 on 3/22/90. I don't understand the reasons for the eight fold increase in two years by the County assessment office.

  • Why wait to bring up the issue of an appraisal (and the car problem and the gift tax return) until the accountants are in control of the estate?
  • Why wait until May 1 to instruct an innocent family member to instruct another family member to do an appraisal using a County assessment office form and an artificially created deadline of June 1, 1992, and then tell the IRS on June 11, 1992, that an extension is needed to file the estate tax return due on June 15, 1992?

  • I did not use the county reappraisal form as instructed but hired a professional appraiser to do an appraisal that could be sent to the IRS and the County. Why continue to instruct the family to go to the county assessment office after I hired a professional appraiser to do it?
    • Why Edward White's May 19, 1992 "Jean is filing the Fairfax form for re-assessment in her capacity as a co-owner in order to give us a better basis to get this assessment changed and to meet the county's deadline. It will state that the appraisal you have ordered will follow"
    • This puts innocent Jean Nader's name on the county record as the point of contact when I am having the appraisal done (Thomas Dittmer, County of Fairfax, to Jean Nader, June 3, 1992: "We have received your request for revision of real property assessment on the following property: Map reference 90-4-(111))-17 Legal description Accotink Station An investiagtion will be made of this assessment by a representative from this office, and you will be notified of out conclusion in the near future")

  • I sent a copy of the completed professional appraisal to the co-executors r on June 9, 1992. Why did the accountants on June 11, 1992, ask the IRS for an extension for filing the estate tax return because: "The decedent was a part owner of a tract of ground the value of which is to be determined by an appraisal in progress."?

  • Why:

    1992.02.18   (Edward White to Anthony O'Connell, copy to Jean Nader)
    "Jean has informed me that you and your sisters have decided that it is best to try and list the Accotink property at its actual value as of the of death rather than a higher value based on its future value. Since you have worked so diligently on this problem in the past, could you give me the name of an appraiser who could do a valuation which will take into account all of the county inspired problems. It seems to me that the county value of $600,000.00 is too high based on the hurdles you have run into in trying to develop it."

    1993.02.02   (Edward White to Jean Nader)
    "I can only say that had I not been adamant about re-valuing the Accotink property, Mr. O'Connell's initial approach would have cost this estate dearly."

    I did not initially agree to the accountants reevaluating Accotink because I did not want the accountants to have anything to do with Accotink because history suggests that they end up taking control of the real estate and make money dissappear from the sale of it. The accountants later gave me no choice.



Gift of $15,000.

I was lucky; I was forewarned. Innocent Jean Nader had me sent me a copy of Edward White's 1992.05.04 letter ("If we have knowledge of a gift to Tony of $15,000, we must report it. Tony is going to have to answer that question before we can be satisfied. If he claims he did not receive the money, he will have to supply us with an affidavit to that effect.."). I called the CPA firm and asked the receptionist for a copy of the 1988 gift tax for Jean O'Connell and the receptionist sent me a copy. So after receiving Edward White's letter of July 16, 1992 ("At any time prior to your mother's death did you receive in any one or more calendar years, gifts from her totaling more than $10,000.00? If you did, please list the dates and amounts of each gift."), I had a copy to send him. There is no reason that I should have had a copy of the 1988 gift tax return prepared by Joanne Barnes for Jean O'Connell. I could never have convinced innocent Jean Nader that it was not my fault if I could not have gotten a copy.

Gift(?) of vehicle.

This is complicated and is addressed in depth where I address Note 7. Based on the accountant's Note 7 at Bk467p194, and the following document Edward White had my sisters sign when he apparently meet with them personally:

We, Jean M. Nader and Sheila O'Connell-Shevenell, hereby confirm that one 1988 Plymouth Van was distributed to our brother, Anthony M. O'Connell by the Estate of Jean M. O'Connell, and that we hereby confirm and agree to that distribution. We further confirm and agree that this distribution shall not be charged against Anthony M. O'Connell's share of the estate and that the remaining net proceeds of the estate after settlement of all debts and obligations shall be divided in three equal shares.
DATE: May 1, 1992
*_____              *_____
Jean M. Nader (seal)        Sheila O'Connell (seal)"

The vehicle was apparently treated as a gift. I was surprised to see Note 7 because I had sent Edward White the original receipts signed by my sisters where they had each sold me their interest in the vehicle for one dollar. The sale did not create any accounting entanglements. As a gift the accountants apparently treat it as Edward White described in his May 4, 1992, letter to innocent Jean Nader:

"The summary of the estate tax computation and the interplay of the gift tax is as follows: 1. In computing the estate tax, the gross estate (which includes anything which passes due to death whether in the probate estate or not) is figured, the debts subtracted and the "taxable estate" is ascertained. 
2. The tax is then computed on the taxable estate. From this figure is subtracted a "unified credit" of $192,800 (equivalent to a taxable estate of $600,000).
3. Lifetime gifts in excess of $10,000 to any one individual are taxable at the estate/gift tax rates. Each year the donor should have filed a gift tax return, though no Lax is due unless the entire $192,800 credit has been used in making the gifts.
4. Each gift over $10,000 uses a portion of the unified credit, thus reducing the amount of that credit available to apply to the estate tax.
In our case the lifetime gifts used up $9784.00 of the available credit. A list of the gifts is enclosed. Returns for 1989 and 1991 must be filed. As fiduciaries we must certify to the IRS that the return is true and correct. We have personal liability in that regard. If we have knowledge of a gift to Tony of $15,000, we must report it. [Gifts] Tony is going to have to answer that question before we can be satisfied. If he claims he did not receive the money, he will have to supply us with an affidavit to that effect."



Edward White instructions to the family says that an Estate accounting and return cannot be done without an accounting from the Trust. This is not true. The Trust and the Estate are two separate entities.The Trust is not responsible for the Estate's accounting. The Estate's relationship to the Trust is similar to any other entity that pays the Estate interest, such as a bank. To put this in perspective, substitute the word "bank" for "trust". Try to imagine the accountants treating the managers of a bank as they do the Trustee of the Trust. I am not responsible for the Estate's accounting.

The accountants used this special trust accounting (prepared by Joanne Barnes) to create accounting entanglements between the estate and the trust and the beneficiries and Jean O'Connell as an individual. See "Edward White's letter of May 19, 1992 ("Are there any other debts which your Mother owed the Trust"), and Joanne Barnes's [assistant Forest Balderson] letter of February 12, 1993.

Their accounting entanglements are ubiquitous and cover the accounting trails at Bk467p191 and have put our sale of Accotink on hold for 18 years now.

I don't understand why Joanne Barnes, who did the accounting for the trust for 1991, created the debts that Edward White asks about, or why Edward White asks me, instead of Joanne Barnes, to explain them. I don't understand why I am made to appear responsible forJoanne Barne's accounting.

The trust, like the estate, is terminated when the paperwork is done. I don't understand why Joanne Barnes who is doing the accounting for the estate and the trust is silence on this. Can we get Joanne Barnes to take an position on this?