Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

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

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Professor Alfred Brophy a 2017 Frederick Douglass Book Prize Finalist

1478The Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition at the MacMillan Center has chosen Alfred Brophy as a finalist for the 2017 Frederick Douglass Book Prize for “University, Court, and Slave: Pro-Slavery Thought in Southern Colleges and Courts and the Coming of Civil War” (Oxford University Press). Professor Alfred Brophy teaches at The University of Alabama School of Law in the fields of trusts, estates, property, and remedies. Professor Brophy received his J.D. from Columbia University and his Ph.D. from Harvard University.

The Frederick Douglass Book Prize represents one of the most highly sought-after awards relating to the study of the African-American experience. The $25,000 prize is given annually to the winner of the award as recognition for the best book on slavery, abolition, and/or resistance published in the preceding year.

See 2017 Frederick Douglass Book Prize Finalists Announced, Yale Macmillan Center, August 1, 2017.

August 8, 2017 in Books, Estate Planning - Generally, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

‘Dying: A Memoir’ Is a Bracing Illumination of Terminal Illness

27BOOKTAYLOR2-master768Doctors removed a mole from the back of Cory Taylor’s leg just before she celebrated her 50th birthday. She had melanoma, stage IV. The diagnosis jump-started Taylor’s initiative to write her first novel. Soon after, she finished her second. Then, Taylor completed “Dying: A Memoir.” “Dying” is a short but incredibly dense story. There is a stunning matter-of-factness to it as Taylor attempts to normalize the usually taboo subjects of death and dying. This is part of Taylor’s goal. She despises the “monstrous silence” that encompasses the subject of mortality.

It is almost inevitable that impending death leads to a reflection on the past. Part of the engaging character of Taylor’s story is her reminiscence on her colorful upbringing in Australia. There is discussion of kookaburras and jackeroos, a greedy uncle, and an unstable father that preferred flying to spending time with family.

Taylor writes that she will miss her children and husband most of all. They will certainly miss her as well, but “Dying” represents a small, shining piece of her legacy that she has poured out for them as a solemn remembrance.

See Jennifer Senior, ‘Dying: A Memoir’ Is a Bracing Illumination of Terminal Illness, The New York Times, July 26, 2017.

Special thanks to Lewis Saret (Attorney, Washington, D.C.) for bringing this article to my attention.  

August 1, 2017 in Books, Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, July 7, 2017

Article on Artistic Control After Death

Elvis_presley-54661e739c533-lEva E. Subotnik recently published an Article entitled, Artistic Control After Death, Wills, Trusts, & Estate Law eJournal (2017). Provided below is an abstract of the Article:

To what extent should authors be able to control what happens to their literary, artistic, and musical creations after they die? Viewed through the lens of a number of succession law trends, the evidence might suggest that strong control is warranted. The decline of the Rule Against Perpetuities and rise of incentive trusts reflect a tightening grip of the dead hand. And yet, an unconstrained ability of the dead to determine future uses of literature, art, and music is a fundamentally troubling notion. This Article evaluates the instructions authors give with respect to their authorial works against the backdrop of the laws and policies that govern bequests more generally. In particular, it considers the enforceability of attempted artistic control through the imposition of a fiduciary duty. In balancing the competing interests, this Article considers the demands of both state trust laws and federal copyright policy. In the end, this Article argues that authorial instructions must yield to the needs of the living. Such a view requires that, to the greatest extent possible, some living person(s) be authorized to decide how works of authorship are used—even if that means overriding artistic control by the dead.

Special thanks to Robert H. Sitkoff (John L. Gray Professor of Law, Harvard Law School) for bringing this article to my attention.

July 7, 2017 in Articles, Books, Estate Planning - Generally, Film, Music, Trusts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

New Edition of "McCouch's Federal Income Taxation of Estates, Trusts, and Beneficiaries in a Nutshell" Released

BookGrayson M.P. McCouch recently published a book entitled, McCouch's Federal Income Taxation of Estates, Trusts, and Beneficiaries in a Nutshell (2017). Provided below is a description of the book:

This comprehensive guide can serve either as a course supplement or as a refresher for members of the bar. Expert commentary summarizes the law and offers critical perspectives on the federal income taxation of estates, trusts, and beneficiaries, including the decedent’s final income tax return; classification of estates and trusts; income in respect of a decedent; distributable net income; simple and complex trusts; distributions; grantor trusts; charitable trusts; and foreign trusts. Additional chapters cover basic income, gift and estate tax concepts, accumulation distributions, and specially treated trusts.

June 21, 2017 in Books, Estate Planning - Generally, Estate Tax, Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax, Gift Tax, Income Tax, Trusts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, June 19, 2017

I’m Dying Up Here: Books on How to Grieve and How to Die

LossJudith Newman, writing for the New York Times, reviews a number of books dealing with the very difficult subject of death. Each book reviewed offers a unique insight or perspective on dealing with the death of a loved one or dealing with one’s own mortality. In her final review, Newman highlights a woman dealing with a terminal disease and her probable demise. Newman’s final note on the subject states: “You can read a multitude of books about how to die, but Riggs, a dying woman, will show you how to live.”

See Judith Newman, I’m Dying Up Here: Books on How to Grieve and How to Die, The New York Times, June 16, 2017.

Special thanks to Joel C. Dobris (Professor of Law, UC Davis School of Law) for bringing this article to my attention.

June 19, 2017 in Books | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, June 5, 2017

Death Can Wait

ReinerCarl Reiner’s most recent book is suitably entitled “Too Busy to Die.” The 95-year old comedic legend thanks his vivid dreams as inspiration for his oftentimes zany ideas. Reiner, creator of “The Dick Van Dyke Show” and director of movies like “The Jerk” and “Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid,” said in a recent interview that as long as his mind keeps popping, he will keep going. Reiner will be featured in an HBO documentary on Monday, June 5. The show features stereotype-shattering nonagenarians like Reiner and provides a look into the still-vibrant lives of individuals over 90.

See Dan Hyman, For Carl Reiner and His Fellow Nonagenarians, Death Can Wait, New York Times, June 2, 2017.

Special thanks to Lewis Saret (Attorney, Washington, D.C.) for bringing this article to my attention.  

June 5, 2017 in Books, Current Events, Elder Law, Film, Humor | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Book on International Trust Laws

International trust lawsPaolo Panico recently published a book entitled, International Trust Laws (2d ed. 2017). Provided below is a summary of the book:

  • Compares trust law across a number of jurisdictions, providing the reader with references to offshore case law legislation and case law that is often inaccessible.
  • Covers law and practice in leading trust centres such as Jersey, Guernsey, the Cayman Islands, the Bahamas, and the Isle of Man, with examples drawn from a wealth of other jurisdictions including New Zealand, Dubai, Mauritius and the Cook Islands.
  • Provides detailed analysis of common law and the recognition and circulation of trusts in civil law jurisdictions where trusts are practised under the Hague Trust Convention.
  • Includes discussion of offshore and onshore trust jurisdictions.
  • The book can be used either with a focus on a particular jurisdiction, analyzing its trust law in relation to those of other jurisdictions; or with a focus on a particular topic, such as settlor's reserved powers, beneficiaries' rights to information, or protector's duties, illustrated by approaches from various trust jurisdictions.

April 25, 2017 in Books, Books - For Practitioners, Books - For the Classroom, Estate Planning - Generally, Trusts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Book on Trusts & Estate Planning in Israel

Israel trusts and estatesAlon Kaplan recently published a book entitled, Trusts and Estate Planning in Israel (2016). Provided below is a summary of the book:

Trusts and Estate Planning in Israel traces the trust concept in Israel and its use for private and commercial purposes under current Israeli trust law. The creation of trusts by law, by contract, by Hekdesh deed (an Israel trust) and testamentary trusts are analysed. Estate planning using the Hekdesh or testamentary trust and its tax implications, public and charitable trusts are explored, and special attention is given to trust protectors, privilege and confidentiality, court jurisdiction, arbitration, taxation and foreign trust recognition.

April 20, 2017 in Books, Books - For Practitioners, Estate Planning - Generally, Trusts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, April 17, 2017

Book on Statutes on Trusts & Estates

Selected statuteMark L. Ascher & Grayson M.P. McCouch recently published a book entitled, Selected Statutes on Trusts and Estates (2017). Provided below is a summary of the book:

This casebook statutory supplement meets the needs of students in basic and advanced courses on wills, trusts, decedents' estates, fiduciary administration, and future interests, providing a compendium of essential uniform act provisions and official comments. It covers a wide range of topics, including intestacy, wills, rules of construction, probate administration, nonprobate transfers, disclaimers, principal and income, prudent investments, perpetuities, trust formation and modification, spendthrift and discretionary trusts, trustee powers and duties, powers of appointment, and powers of attorney. The previous edition has been updated to include amendments to the Uniform Probate Code, the Uniform Custodial Trust Act, and the Uniform Power of Attorney Act.

April 17, 2017 in Books, Books - For Practitioners, Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally, Trusts, Wills | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Book on Estates in Land & Future Interests

5ed estateLinda H. Edwards recently published a book entitled, Estates in Land and Future Interests: A Step-by-Step Guide (5th ed. 2017). Provided below is a summary of the book:

Accessible and effective, Estates in Land and Future Interests: A Step-by-Step Guide is a user-friendly method for mastering a challenging area of property law.

In the Fifth Edition, Edwards highlights and clarifies key technical concepts in each chapter that can be confusing to many students. Similarly helpful, a new section at the end of most chapters reiterates specific terms and concepts that are indispensable to a thorough mastery of estates in land and future interests. Clear introductions, a host of visual aids, and the author’s process approach untangle and demystify every new term and transaction. Problem sets, study questions, and practice exercises—all available electronically for easy practice—actively engage students in learning estates in land and future interests, step by step.

Timely and innovative, Estates in Land and Future Interests features:

  • Complete, up-to-date coverage of the statutory and common law relevant to estates in land and future interests
  • Visual aids, text boxes, and smart teaching devices that illustrate and clarify estates in land and future interests—a potentially confounding topic within first year Property
  • A useful flow chart throughout the book that identifies the state of the title after a particular conveyance—to link estates to the future interests that follow them. (For easy reference, the complete chart appears on the inside back cover of the book.)
  • A process approach that describes transactions and analytical tasks as a sequence of manageable steps and stages
  • Lucid and succinct treatment, in a clean and uncluttered page design
  • Problem sets (with answers) and electronic practice exercises
  • Study Questions, with expanded explanations
  • A transparent organization that mirrors the coverage of estates and future interests in the leading property casebook
  • A Glossary of Terms in the appendix, for locating legal terms easily and quickly

April 15, 2017 in Books, Books - For Practitioners, Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0)