‘Trusts and Estates Law and the Redistribution of Wealth’

Felix B Chang, Asymmetries in the Generation and Transmission of Wealth, 78 Ohio State Law Journal (forthcoming 2018). Data show that the very rich hold an ever-increasing share of global wealth while that held by the rest diminishes proportionately. And the United States stands out among developed nations for its particularly wide wealth disparities between the rich and the poor. Compared with many nations the rich in the US are generally richer while many of the rest struggle to get by. This severe wealth inequality harms productivity and the broader economy and even threatens democracy and social stability. Solutions focused on donative transfers of wealth by concerned legal academics often prescribe a tax and transfer system in the form of a robust gift and estate tax regime. But political realities continue to intervene, weakening the federal transfer taxes. Given the way current political winds blow, outright repeal of these taxes seems more likely than their rejuvenation … (more)

[Kent D Schenkel, JOTWELL, 9 November]

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