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Legal History

2012

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College of Law Faculty - Scholarship

Articles 1 - 2 of 2

Full-Text Articles in Law

The Color Of Testamentary Freedom, Kevin Noble Maillard Jul 2012

The Color Of Testamentary Freedom, Kevin Noble Maillard

College of Law Faculty - Scholarship

Wills that prioritize the interests of nontraditional families over collateral heirs test courts’ dedication to observing the posthumous wishes of testators. Collateral heirs who object to will provisions that redraw the contours of “family” are likely to profit from the incompatibility of testamentary freedom and social deviance. Thus, the interests of married, white adults may claim priority over nonwhite, unmarried others. Wills that acknowledge the existence of moral or social transgressions—namely, interracial sex and reproduction—incite will contests by collateral heirs who leverage their status as white and legitimate in order to defeat testamentary intent. This Article turns to ...


Slaves In The Family: Testamentary Freedom And Interracial Deviance, Kevin Noble Maillard Jul 2012

Slaves In The Family: Testamentary Freedom And Interracial Deviance, Kevin Noble Maillard

College of Law Faculty - Scholarship

This Article addresses the deviance of interracial sexuality acknowledged in testamentary documents. The language of wills calls into question the authority of probate and family law by forcing issues of deviance into the public realm. Will dramas, settled in or out of court, publicly unearth insecurities about family. Many objections to the stated intent of the testator generate from social prejudices toward certain kinds of interpersonal relationships: nonmarital, homosexual, and/or interracial. When pitted against an issue of a moral or social transgression, testamentary intent often fails. In order for these attacks on testamentary validity to succeed, they must be ...