Category Archives: Succession

Barry Cushman, ‘The Decline of Revocation by Physical Act’

ABSTRACT The power to revoke one’s will by physical act was enshrined in Anglo-American law in 1677 by the Statute of Frauds. It remains the law in Great Britain, in such developed Commonwealth countries as Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, and in each of the United States of America. Yet the revocation of wills by […]

‘Of Trusts, Grammar, and Gender’

Deborah Gordon, Engendering Trust, 213 Wisconsin Law Review 213 (2019), available at SSRN. In her new piece, Engendering Trust, Deborah Gordon takes on the relationship between women, wealth, inheritance, and the trust form. This intricate relationship is a long-standing one – a vintage marriage, so to speak – defined by gendered asymmetries, assumptions, and characterizations […]

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 […]