‘A Proposal to Protect Transgender Beneficiaries’

Carla Spivack, ‘The Dilemma of the Transgender Heir’, 33 Quinnipiac Probate Law Journal 147 (2020), available at HeinOnline. A goal of professors is, or should be, to think about legal issues that have not yet arisen but that are likely to arise in the future. By thinking of the issues before they arise, we can work to change the law before courts are forced to deal with the issue with little guidance on a case-by-case basis. In her thought-provoking article, Professor Carla Spivack identifies the issue of a transgender heir and a bequest that did not contemplate a gender change. Specifically, she identifies a situation in which an elderly relative leaves property to ‘my daughter’ or to ‘my grandsons’, but the intended recipient no longer identifies as a female, in the case of the daughter, or a male, in the case of a grandson, at the time of the elderly testator’s death. The concern is that other beneficiaries may then seek to invalidate the gift by arguing that the testator did not have a daughter or a particular grandson at the time of death … (more)

[Sergio Pareja, JOTWELL, 16 March]

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