‘If a Will is Never Probated, does it Make a Sound?’

Katheleen Guzman, ‘Wills Speak’, 85 Brooklyn Law Review 647 (2020). Interim Dean (Dean) Katheleen Guzman explores the pre-death relevance of a will by determining whether or when a will speaks. She analyzes the legal consequences of a validly executed will before death and the potential property rights of devisees of the will. The focus and thesis of the article reminded me of the adage, ‘if the tree falls forest and no one hears, does it make a sound?’ In translation, I thought, ‘Does a will make a sound (have a legal effect) if it is never probated?’ As professors, we typically teach that wills are testamentary documents that have no effect until after the death of a testator and probate by the court … (more)

[Phyllis C Taite, JOTWELL, 22 June]

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