Category Archives: Succession

Edward Stone, ‘Dying trusts, living trusts’

ABSTRACT The popularity of trusts has been on a long downward trend in the UK. According to the latest data published by HMRC in September 2019, the total number of trusts and estates registered for tax in the UK has fallen by almost one-third since April 2006 to 150,000 and the number of interest in […]

Weisbord and Horton, ‘Inheritance Forgery’

ABSTRACT Many venerable norms in inheritance law were designed to prevent forgery. Most prominently, since 1837, the Wills Act has required testators to express their last wishes in a signed and witnessed writing. Likewise, the court-supervised probate process helped ensure that a donative instrument was genuine and that assets passed to their rightful owners. But […]

‘Fits, Starts, and Finishes’

David Horton, Wills Without Signatures, 99 Boston University Law Review 1623 (2019). Intents and acts are different things. Intent without act rings hollow or benign, and acts without intent can be perplexing or seem cavalier. But add one to the other – animate the intent through act, ie externalize what lives in the mind of […]

Edina Harbinja, ‘Book Chapter: The “New(ish)” Property, Informational Bodies and Postmortality’

ABSTRACT This chapter examines the concept of digital assets from an angle that has not yet been explored in legal scholarship around digital death and the transmission of digital assets on death. Digital death is conceived herein as the death of an individual who leaves behind various digital fragments of their identity, either in the […]

Reinhard Zimmermann, ‘The Compulsory Portion in German Law’

ABSTRACT The compulsory portion of the German law of succession is a personal claim by a close family member of the deceased against the latter’s heir, or heirs, to receive the value of one half of his or her intestate share. The range of persons entitled to a compulsory portion is limited to the deceased’s […]

‘Clarity or Ambiguity in Reform? Probate litigation after the Wills Act of 1837’: Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, London, 13 December 2019

Date: 13 Dec 2019, 17:30-19:00. Venue: Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, 17 Russell Square, London WC1B 5DR. Description: ‘Clarity or Ambiguity in Reform? Probate litigation after the Wills Act of 1837’. Speaker: Professor Lloyd Bonfield, New York Law School. Registration: This seminar is free but those wishing to attend are asked to book in advance […]

Reid Weisbord, ‘Fiduciary Authority and Liability in Probate Estates: An Empirical Analysis’

ABSTRACT This Article presents an empirical analysis of testamentary preferences pertaining to the selection, compensation, appointment, powers, and liability of executors. Often an after-thought in the will-drafting process, such administrative terms deserve careful attention because the executor’s central role in the transfer of property at death is so often a source of posthumous conflict. Prior […]

Dot Reid, ‘Why Is It So Difficult to Reform the Law of Intestate Succession?’

ABSTRACT When those interested in succession law look back in time the current period of its history in Scotland may be perplexing. We have been attempting to reform the law of succession for over thirty years, and although minor ‘technical’ changes have been made the substantive law remains as it has been since 1964. Despite […]

Alexandra Braun, ‘Symposium: Reforming Intestate Succession Law’

ABSTRACT Intestate succession law affects a considerable portion of society, and has serious implications for how wealth is distributed on death, including for questions of wealth equality. Yet, or perhaps precisely because of its importance, it is challenging to design a satisfactory set of intestacy rules, not least because of the need to balance manifold […]

David Horton, ‘Do-It-Yourself Wills’

ABSTRACT Although most testators hire lawyers, others draft their own wills. Some try to comply with the Wills Act, which requires testamentary instruments to be signed by the testator and by two witnesses. Some create holographic wills, which are valid in about half of American states, and must be in the testator’s handwriting rather than […]