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Wills

Property Law and Real Estate

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Revoking Wills, David Horton Apr 2022

Revoking Wills, David Horton

Notre Dame Law Review

No issue in inheritance law has sparked as much debate as the requirements for making a valid will. For centuries, Anglo-American courts have insisted that decedents obey rigid formalities, such as signing or acknowledging their wills before two witnesses. These rituals preserve proof of the testator’s wishes, reinforce the gravity of estate planning, prevent fraud and duress, and distinguish wills from other instruments. But they also have a dark side. In scores of cases, judges have cited minor errors during the execution process to invalidate documents that a decedent intended to be effective. Accordingly, generations of scholars have critiqued will-creation …


Home Of The Dispossessed, Allison Anna Tait Jan 2022

Home Of The Dispossessed, Allison Anna Tait

Law Faculty Publications

The objects that people interact with on a daily basis speak to and of these people who acquire, display, and handle them—the relationship is one of exchange. People living among household objects come to care for their things, identify with them, and think of them as a constituent part of themselves. A meaningful problem arises, however, when people who have deep connections to the objects that populate their lived spaces are not those who possess the legal rights of ownership. These individuals and groups—usually excluded from the realm of property ownership along lines of gender, race, and ethnicity—live on an …


Keeping Current - Probate, Claire Hargrove, Paula Moore, William P. Lapiana, Jake W. Villanueva Nov 2021

Keeping Current - Probate, Claire Hargrove, Paula Moore, William P. Lapiana, Jake W. Villanueva

Articles & Chapters

No abstract provided.


Blockchain Wills, Bridget J. Crawford Jul 2020

Blockchain Wills, Bridget J. Crawford

Indiana Law Journal

Blockchain technology has the potential to radically alter the way that people have

executed wills for centuries. This Article makes two principal claims—one

descriptive and the other normative. Descriptively, this Article suggests that

traditional wills formalities have been relaxed to the point that they no longer serve

the cautionary, protective, evidentiary, and channeling functions that scholars have

used to justify strict compliance with wills formalities. Widespread use of digital

technology in everyday communications has led to several notable cases in which

individuals have attempted to execute wills electronically. These wills have had a

mixed reception. Four states currently recognize electronic …


Intestate Succession In A Polygamous Society, Barry Cushman Aug 2019

Intestate Succession In A Polygamous Society, Barry Cushman

Barry Cushman

The pursuit of polygamous unions by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in nineteenth-century Utah posed challenges for the law of the family unique in the annals of American legal history. The exotic familial relationships generated by plural marriages created novel and peculiar problems for the traditional law of intestacy. Mormon leaders, in an effort to avoid these problems, urged their polygamous brethren to make wills. Many polygamists, however, either neglected to plan their estates or were actively opposed to doing so. Mormon legislators accordingly sought to craft statutory schemes that would accommodate the peculiar inheritance …


Sb 301 - Wills, Trusts, And Administration Of Estates, Morgan S. Ownbey, Paul M. Napolitano Dec 2018

Sb 301 - Wills, Trusts, And Administration Of Estates, Morgan S. Ownbey, Paul M. Napolitano

Georgia State University Law Review

The Act creates the “Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act,” extends fiduciaries’ powers to include managing tangible property and digital assets, and provides conforming cross-references for a conservator.


Hb 121 - Property, Wills, Trusts, And Estates, Colt Burnett, Ben Dell'orto Dec 2018

Hb 121 - Property, Wills, Trusts, And Estates, Colt Burnett, Ben Dell'orto

Georgia State University Law Review

The Act amends several aspects of trust law, including updating the application of the Uniform Statutory Rule Against Perpetuities in Georgia by extending the time within which a nonvested property interest or power of appointment must vest from 90 to 360 years. The Act also allows for modifications of a trust without judicial approval in some cases. Many passages are simplified, including the calculation of compensation for a trustee, which can now be modified through different procedures. Finally, the Act codifies the role of trust directors.


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

Distributive Justice And Donative Intent, Alexander Boni-Saenz

All Faculty Scholarship

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 …


Moving Forward By Looking Back: The Retroactive Application Of Obergefell, Lee-Ford Tritt Dec 2016

Moving Forward By Looking Back: The Retroactive Application Of Obergefell, Lee-Ford Tritt

UF Law Faculty Publications

The recent Supreme Court decision of Obergefell v. Hodges has forever altered American jurisprudence. Not only did this decision make same-sex marriage legal in all fifty states, but it also required states to recognize same-sex marriages from other states in accordance with the 14th Amendment. The Court’s holding in Obergefell raises a fundamental question with serious legal and financial significance: when exactly do these once unrecognized marriages legally begin? And to what extent must courts apply Obergefell retroactively? The stakes are high and substantive financial effects are pending on the answer to this question — for, with marriage, comes wide-ranging …


“I’M Not Quite Dead Yet!”: Rethinking Anti-Lapse Redistribution Of A Dead Beneficiary’S Gift, Eloisa Rodriguez-Dod Nov 2016

“I’M Not Quite Dead Yet!”: Rethinking Anti-Lapse Redistribution Of A Dead Beneficiary’S Gift, Eloisa Rodriguez-Dod

Eloisa C Rodríguez-Dod

Anti-lapse statutes create a category of substitute takers when a beneficiary prematurely dies. They are based on the legislature’s presumption of how a testator or settlor would want his property distributed in these circumstances. However, a testator’s or settlor’s intent may effectively be frustrated by this presumed intent. This Article critically examines the tension between an individual’s autonomy and societal goals in the context of anti-lapse statutes applicable to wills and trusts. It scrutinizes the current rules of construction regarding anti-lapse statutes and identifies their deficiencies in their application to wills and trusts. This Article analyzes and identifies the deficiencies …


The Game Is Afoot!: The Significance Of Donative Transfers In The Sherlock Holmes Canon, Stephen R. Alton Jul 2015

The Game Is Afoot!: The Significance Of Donative Transfers In The Sherlock Holmes Canon, Stephen R. Alton

Stephen Alton

This article presents a recently discovered and previously unpublished manuscript written by John H. Watson, M.D., and annotated by Professor Stephen Alton. Dr. Watson’s manuscript records an extended conversation that took place between the good doctor and his great friend, the renowned consulting detective Mr. Sherlock Holmes, regarding issues of gratuitous transfers of property – issues involving inheritances, wills, and trusts – that have arisen in some of the great cases solved by Mr. Holmes. This felicitous discovery confirms something that Professor Alton has long known: these gratuitous transfer issues permeate many of these adventures. Often, the action in the …


Technical Correction Or Tectonic Shift: Competing Default Rule Theories Under The New Uniform Probate Code, Lee-Ford Tritt Oct 2013

Technical Correction Or Tectonic Shift: Competing Default Rule Theories Under The New Uniform Probate Code, Lee-Ford Tritt

Lee-ford Tritt

Succession law, the law governing trusts and estates, is experiencing an identity crisis. Similar to an individual going through a midlife crisis, the laws of succession seem to be in search of a new purpose or meaning. It seems odd that a legal discipline as old as private property succession law would lack the continuity of some shared jurisprudential image. Yet, despite its historical legacy, succession law appears to have neither a complete descriptive theory (explaining what the law is) nor a complete normative theory (explaining what the law should be), hence the identity crisis. It may seem intuitive that …


“I’M Not Quite Dead Yet!”: Rethinking Anti-Lapse Redistribution Of A Dead Beneficiary’S Gift, Eloisa Rodriguez-Dod Jan 2013

“I’M Not Quite Dead Yet!”: Rethinking Anti-Lapse Redistribution Of A Dead Beneficiary’S Gift, Eloisa Rodriguez-Dod

Faculty Publications

Anti-lapse statutes create a category of substitute takers when a beneficiary prematurely dies. They are based on the legislature’s presumption of how a testator or settlor would want his property distributed in these circumstances. However, a testator’s or settlor’s intent may effectively be frustrated by this presumed intent.

This Article critically examines the tension between an individual’s autonomy and societal goals in the context of anti-lapse statutes applicable to wills and trusts. It scrutinizes the current rules of construction regarding anti-lapse statutes and identifies their deficiencies in their application to wills and trusts. This Article analyzes and identifies the deficiencies …


The Game Is Afoot!: The Significance Of Donative Transfers In The Sherlock Holmes Canon, Stephen R. Alton Mar 2011

The Game Is Afoot!: The Significance Of Donative Transfers In The Sherlock Holmes Canon, Stephen R. Alton

Faculty Scholarship

This article presents a recently discovered and previously unpublished manuscript written by John H. Watson, M.D., and annotated by Professor Stephen Alton. Dr. Watson’s manuscript records an extended conversation that took place between the good doctor and his great friend, the renowned consulting detective Mr. Sherlock Holmes, regarding issues of gratuitous transfers of property – issues involving inheritances, wills, and trusts – that have arisen in some of the great cases solved by Mr. Holmes. This felicitous discovery confirms something that Professor Alton has long known: these gratuitous transfer issues permeate many of these adventures. Often, the action in the …


Technical Correction Or Tectonic Shift: Competing Default Rule Theories Under The New Uniform Probate Code, Lee-Ford Tritt Jan 2010

Technical Correction Or Tectonic Shift: Competing Default Rule Theories Under The New Uniform Probate Code, Lee-Ford Tritt

UF Law Faculty Publications

Succession law, the law governing trusts and estates, is experiencing an identity crisis. Similar to an individual going through a midlife crisis, the laws of succession seem to be in search of a new purpose or meaning. It seems odd that a legal discipline as old as private property succession law would lack the continuity of some shared jurisprudential image. Yet, despite its historical legacy, succession law appears to have neither a complete descriptive theory (explaining what the law is) nor a complete normative theory (explaining what the law should be), hence the identity crisis.

It may seem intuitive that …


Divorcees Turn About In Their Graves As Ex-Spouses Cash In: Codified Constructive Trusts Ensure An Equitable Result Regarding Erisa-Governed Employee Benefit Plans, Sarabeth A. Rayho Jan 2007

Divorcees Turn About In Their Graves As Ex-Spouses Cash In: Codified Constructive Trusts Ensure An Equitable Result Regarding Erisa-Governed Employee Benefit Plans, Sarabeth A. Rayho

Michigan Law Review

A revocation-by-divorce statute essentially nullifies a devise in a divorced decedent's will when the devise bequeaths property to the decedent's ex-spouse and the will was executed during their marriage. Until recently, state revocation-by-divorce statutes unquestionably applied not only to wills but also to will substitutes, including ERISA-governed employee benefit plans. In 2001, the Supreme Court held in Egelhoff v. Egelhoff ex rel. Breiner that ERISA preempts traditional state revocation-by-divorce statutes as applied to ERISA-governed employee benefit plans. In the wake of the Egelhoff decision, plan administrators may automatically pay proceeds to the listed beneficiary, even an ex-spouse, regardless of the …


The Inheritance Process In San Bernardino County, California, 1964: A Research Note, Lawrence M. Friedman, Christopher J. Walker, Ben Hernandez-Stern Dec 2006

The Inheritance Process In San Bernardino County, California, 1964: A Research Note, Lawrence M. Friedman, Christopher J. Walker, Ben Hernandez-Stern

Christopher J. Walker

Probate records are ubiquitous. Virtually every American county has records of estates of the dead. These records contain rich source material for any study of American legal and social history. They have a lot to tell us about family life, about the economy, about love and death and every aspect of life in America. Yet very few scholars have tried to tap these records. There are very few empirical studies that use as their main source probate records, probably no more than a dozen or so, and even fewer in California. This research note is a modest attempt to add …


Wills—Holographic Wills And Testamentary Intent—Extrinsic Evidence Is Inadmissible To Prove Testimentary Intent For Holographic Wills Lacking Words Of Disposition. Edmundson V. Estate Of Fountain, No. 03-1459, 2004 Wl 1475423 (Ark. July 1, 2004), J. M. Robinette Jul 2005

Wills—Holographic Wills And Testamentary Intent—Extrinsic Evidence Is Inadmissible To Prove Testimentary Intent For Holographic Wills Lacking Words Of Disposition. Edmundson V. Estate Of Fountain, No. 03-1459, 2004 Wl 1475423 (Ark. July 1, 2004), J. M. Robinette

University of Arkansas at Little Rock Law Review

No abstract provided.


Wills, Trusts, And Estates, J. Rodney Johnson Nov 2003

Wills, Trusts, And Estates, J. Rodney Johnson

University of Richmond Law Review

No abstract provided.


Intestate Succession In A Polygamous Society, Barry Cushman Jan 1991

Intestate Succession In A Polygamous Society, Barry Cushman

Journal Articles

The pursuit of polygamous unions by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in nineteenth-century Utah posed challenges for the law of the family unique in the annals of American legal history. The exotic familial relationships generated by plural marriages created novel and peculiar problems for the traditional law of intestacy. Mormon leaders, in an effort to avoid these problems, urged their polygamous brethren to make wills. Many polygamists, however, either neglected to plan their estates or were actively opposed to doing so. Mormon legislators accordingly sought to craft statutory schemes that would accommodate the peculiar inheritance …


Kentucky Law Survey: Property, Carolyn S. Bratt Jan 1985

Kentucky Law Survey: Property, Carolyn S. Bratt

Law Faculty Scholarly Articles

Law students, and probably practitioners, are often perplexed by the multitude of topics covered under the rubric of property law. Unfortunately, this Survey article does nothing to dispel the impression of property law as a hodgepodge of unrelated topics. This Survey of recent decisions in Kentucky discusses topics ranging literally from "a" to "z"-adverse possession to zoning.


Contrasting Sources: Court Rolls And Settlements As Evidence Of Hereditary Transmission Of Land Amongst Small Landowners In Early Modern England, Lloyd Bonfield Jan 1984

Contrasting Sources: Court Rolls And Settlements As Evidence Of Hereditary Transmission Of Land Amongst Small Landowners In Early Modern England, Lloyd Bonfield

Articles & Chapters

No abstract provided.


Two Perspectives On The Real Estate Title System: How To Examine A Title In Virginia, William Mazel Jan 1977

Two Perspectives On The Real Estate Title System: How To Examine A Title In Virginia, William Mazel

University of Richmond Law Review

This article seeks to explain the mechanics of an examination of title to real property in Virginia. It addresses the procedural aspects of this process, and does not attempt to examine the substantive body of law which underlies the title examination procedure. Other published works are available for that purpose.


Real Property--Wills--Judicial Construction Of To A And His Children, Thomas R. Ross Ii Apr 1973

Real Property--Wills--Judicial Construction Of To A And His Children, Thomas R. Ross Ii

West Virginia Law Review

No abstract provided.


Wills--Equitable Conversion, Robert Willis Walker Jun 1965

Wills--Equitable Conversion, Robert Willis Walker

West Virginia Law Review

No abstract provided.


Decedents' Estates, Trusts And Future Interest -- 1964 Tennessee Survey, Herman L. Trautman Jun 1965

Decedents' Estates, Trusts And Future Interest -- 1964 Tennessee Survey, Herman L. Trautman

Vanderbilt Law Review

Validity of Instrument Which Only Appoints Fiduciary--Is an instrument which makes no testamentary gift, but only designates or appoints the personal representative to administer the estate and provides certain special powers of fiduciary administration entitled to probate as a valid will? While it has been said that there need be no dispositive gift of property to entitle a testamentary writing to probate as a will,' there seems to have been no definite court decision in Tennessee so holding until the recent case of Delaney v. First Peoples Bank of Johnson City. In that case a writing properly executed with the …


A Future For Girard's Dream, Henry S. Hilles Jr., Wilfred B. Wolcott Jr. Jan 1965

A Future For Girard's Dream, Henry S. Hilles Jr., Wilfred B. Wolcott Jr.

Villanova Law Review

No abstract provided.


Abstracts Of Recent Cases, William Erwin Barr Apr 1962

Abstracts Of Recent Cases, William Erwin Barr

West Virginia Law Review

No abstract provided.


Class Gifts: Increase In Class Membership And The Rule Of Convenience, Theodore H. Focht Oct 1959

Class Gifts: Increase In Class Membership And The Rule Of Convenience, Theodore H. Focht

William & Mary Law Review

No abstract provided.


Decedents' Estates, Trusts And Future Interests -- 1958 Tennessee Survey, Herman L. Trautman Oct 1958

Decedents' Estates, Trusts And Future Interests -- 1958 Tennessee Survey, Herman L. Trautman

Vanderbilt Law Review

The subject matter of this article will be presented in three parts entitled Decedents' Estates, Trusts, and Future Interests. The developments of the year' consist of judicial decisions of the appellate courts in Tennessee, and the work of the Section on Real Property,Probate and Trust Law of the Tennessee Bar Association on a new statute concerning intestate succession for the state. Since the General Assembly was not in session, there were no legislative developments. The part entitled Decendents' Estates will include a discussion of intestate succession, wills, and the problems of fiduciary administration in decendents' estates. The problems of fiduciary …