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Distributive Justice And Donative Intent, Alexander Boni-Saenz Jul 2017

Distributive Justice And Donative Intent, Alexander Boni-Saenz

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The inheritance system is beset by formalism. Probate courts reject wills on technicalities and refuse to correct obvious drafting mistakes by testators. These doctrines lead to donative errors, or outcomes that are not in line with the decedent’s donative intent. While scholars and reformers have critiqued the intent-defeating effects of formalism in the past, none have examined the resulting distribution of donative errors and connected it to broader social and economic inequalities. Drawing on egalitarian theories of distributive justice, this Article develops a novel critique of formalism in the inheritance law context. The central normative claim is that formalistic wills …


The Common Sense Of Contract Formation, Tess Wilkinson-Ryan, David A. Hoffman Jan 2015

The Common Sense Of Contract Formation, Tess Wilkinson-Ryan, David A. Hoffman

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What parties know and think they know about contract law affects their obligations under the law and their intuitive obligations toward one another. Drawing on a series of new experimental questionnaire studies, this Article makes two contributions.First, it lays out what information and beliefs ordinary individuals have about how to form contracts with one another. We find that the colloquial understanding of contract law is almost entirely focused on formalization rather than actual assent, though the modern doctrine of contract formation takes the opposite stance. The second Part of the Article tries to get at whether this misunderstanding matters. Is …