Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Monday, February 17, 2014

Article on Laughing Heirs


John V. Orth (William Rand Kenan, Jr. Professor of Law, University of North Carolina School of Law) recently published an article entitled, “The Laughing Heir” What’s So Funny?, Real Property, Trust and Estate Law, Vol. 48, No. 2 (Fall 2013).  Provided below is the editors’ synopsis of this article: 

Death is inevitable, yet people often die without adequately providing for the disposition of their assets.  In such cases, inheritance laws often provide guidance for the distribution of a decedent’s assets to relatives.  Most states do not limit collateral succession—even among remote kindred.  However, this Article questions whether the state, rather than the “laughing heir,” is most deserving of the windfall.


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