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Uniform Probate Code

1987

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Redesigning The Spouse's Forced Share, John H. Langbein, Lawrence W. Waggoner Jan 1987

Redesigning The Spouse's Forced Share, John H. Langbein, Lawrence W. Waggoner

Articles

American forced-share law underwent a major round of reform in the 1960s. The main objective was to prevent the decedent from engaging in "fraud on the widow's share," that is, using nominal inter vivos transfers to evade the surviving spouse's forced-share entitlement. In jurisdictions that follow the Uniform Probate Code of 1969 (UPC), that mischief has been eradicated. The UPC, which is discussed in some detail below, extends the forced-share entitlement to property that has been the subject of inter vivos transfer. In the present article we develop the view that the time has come for a further ...