TAXES: Precedent Set

When Franklin Roosevelt died on April 12, 1945, was he a civilian? Or was he, as Commander in Chief of the Army & Navy, a member of the armed forces? Under the law it made a difference. If he was legally a member of the armed forces, a $1,332,588 trust fund he left for his children and grandchildren was going to get a tax refund of $340,672.

James Roosevelt, the eldest son and a trustee of the fund, joined the other members of the family in renouncing all claim to the rebate. But the other trustees (Basil O'Connor, F.D.R.'s warm...

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