Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

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

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Yale Law School Center for Private Law Fellow Applications Available

Yale PrivateThe Yale Law School Center for Private Law is now accepting applications for the 2018-19 Fellow in Private Law. The Fellowship in Private Law is a full-time, one-year residential appointment, with the possibility of reappointment. The Fellowship is designed for graduates of law or related Ph.D. programs who are interested in pursuing an academic career and whose research is related to any of the Center for Private Law's research areas, which include contracts (including commercial law, corporate finance, bankruptcy, and dispute resolution), property (including intellectual property), and torts. More information is available here.

February 8, 2018 in Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, February 2, 2018

Managing Tax Basis in Estate Planning

image from https://s3.amazonaws.com/feather-client-files-aviary-prod-us-east-1/2018-02-02/6285f04a-96e1-480a-8331-aeff3c98b673.pngThe Northern Trust Company’s Paul S. Lee gave one of the more memorable presentations at the 2018 Heckerling Conference. His discussion focused primarily on the need for planners to manage tax basis as part of the overall estate planning process. Lee equated the applicable exclusion amount to being “free basis,” as those assets covered by the exclusion receive a step-up in basis while remaining free of the federal estate tax. Because of this, he recommends reserving the use of the applicable exclusion only to those instances where there is some chance of the exclusion being lost. A prime example of such an instance would be immediately prior to the expiration of the current exemption thresholds.

See Jordan Smith, Managing Tax Basis in Estate Planning, Wealth Management.com, January 25, 2018.

Special thanks to Jim Hillhouse (Professional Legal Marketing (PLM, Inc.) for bringing this article to my attention.

February 2, 2018 in Current Events, Estate Planning - Generally, Estate Tax, Gift Tax, Income Tax, New Legislation, Scholarship, Teaching | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

SEALS Trusts and Estates Proposed Programming

The following is posted at the request of Profs. Naomi Cahn and Deborah S. Gordon:

We are hoping to encourage more trusts and estates programming at the Southeastern Association of Law Schools conference, which will be held from August 6-12 in Ft. Lauderdale.  We will be proposing two discussion groups, described below, one which focuses on pedagogy and one on scholarship; please let us know if you would like to participate. In addition, please feel free to propose a panel or discussion group yourself; here is the submission information, http://www.sealslawschools.org/submissions/.

Thank you!  If you have any questions and would like to participate, then please contact Naomi Cahn, ncahn@law.gwu.edu/, and Deborah Gordon, dsg45@drexel.edu


Both pedagogy and scholarship within trusts and estates are moving beyond traditional core topics.  We are proposing two plenary discussion groups that explore how pedagogy and scholarship are expanding the ways of teaching and studying trusts and estates and related doctrines. One group will address innovations in teaching, including both skills and doctrine, and teaching about topics that overlap with other areas of the  law, such as Elder Law, Family Law, Property, and Professional Responsibility; the second group will explore new scholarship.

October 17, 2017 in Conferences & CLE, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Professor Naomi Cahn to Receive the Lifetime Achievement in Family Law Award

ZzzzNaomi Cahn has been selected to receive the Lifetime Achievement in Family Law Award. The award is meant to recognize substantial scholarly contributions to the field by individuals who have made an impact in the law through their advocacy, writing, or public service. Professor Cahn will be lecturing on September 14, 2017 at the Illinois College of Law on the following: “The New ART of Family: Developments in the Law of Assisted Reproductive Technologies”

See Illinois College of Law: Family and Public Policy

September 14, 2017 in Estate Planning - Generally, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Call for Authors – Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Trusts and Estates Opinions

FeministThe U.S. Feminist Judgments Project seeks contributors of rewritten judicial opinions and commentaries for an edited collection tentatively titled, Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Trusts and Estates Opinions.  This edited volume is part of a collaborative project among law professors and others to rewrite, from a feminist perspective, key judicial decisions in the United States.  The initial volume, Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Opinions of the United States Supreme Court, edited by Kathryn M. Stanchi, Linda L. Berger, and Bridget J. Crawford, was published in 2016 by Cambridge University Press.  Subsequent volumes in the series will focus on different areas of law and will be under review by Cambridge.

Volume editors Deborah Gordon, Browne C. Lewis and Carla Spivack seek prospective authors for twelve to fifteen rewritten family law opinions covering a range of topics.  With the assistance of an advisory panel of distinguished trusts and estates scholars, the editors have selected decisions that have not appeared in other Feminist Judgment volumes; potential authors are welcome to suggest opinions which do not appear on the list, but inclusion of cases not already on the list is at the sole discretion of the editors and the advisory board.   Further, as befits a T&E focused volume, authors should be prepared to rewrite cases in ways that bring into focus intersectional concerns beyond gender, such as race, class, disability, gender identity, age, sexual orientation, national origin, immigration status, and beyond. 

Proposals must be either to 1.rewrite an opinion (subject to a 10,000-word limit) or 2.comment on a rewritten opinion (4,000-word limit).  Rewritten decisions may be majority opinions, dissents, or concurrences.  Authors of rewritten opinions should abide by the law and precedent in effect at the time of the original decision. Commentators should explain the original court decision, how the feminist judgment differs from the original judgment, and what difference a feminist judgment might have made.  The volume editors conceive of feminism broadly and invite applications that seek to advance, complicate, or critique feminist ideas and advocacy. To apply, please attach a brief cv and please rank three choices from the list.  

List of Cases: 

  1. In re Strittmater's Estate, 53 A.2d 205 (N.J. 1947) (insane delusion)
  2. In re Will of Moses, 227 So. 2d at 831 (Miss. 1969) (undue influence)
  3. Estate of Wilson, 452 N.E.2d 1228 (N.Y. 1983) (charitable trust)
  4. Cruzan v. Missouri Dep’t of Health, 497 U.S. 261 (1990)
  5. Metro. Life Ins. Co. v. Fogle, 419 S.E.2d 825, 826 (S.C. Ct. App. 1992) (slayer)
  6. O'Neal v. Wilkes, 439 S.E.2d 490 (Ga. 1994) (equitable adoption)
  7. Via v. Putnam, 656 So. 2d 460 (Fla. 1995) (pretermitted spouses, mutual wills, and dower)
  8. Estate of Myers, 594 N.W.2d 563 (Neb. 1999) (elective share and inter vivos trust)
  9. Egelhof v. Egelhof, 532 U.S. 141 (2001) (ERISA preemption)
  10. Drevenik v. Nardone, 862 A.2d 635 (Super. Ct. Pa. 2004) (spendthrift trust and child support)
  11. Reece v. Elliot, 208 S.W.3d 419, 423 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2006) (antenuptial agreement)
  12. Khabbaz v. Comm’r Soc. Sec. Admin., 930 A2d 1180 (N.H.2007) (reproductive technology)
  13. Karsenty v. Schoukroun, 959 A.2d 1147 (Md. 2008) (elective share) 

Submit proposals to B.C.LEWISnull@csuohio.nulledu.no later than Friday, September 29, 2017.  The editors will notify accepted authors and commentators by Monday, October, 30, 2017.

The editors are committed to including a diverse group of authors in the volume. The Feminist Judgments Project is committed to including authors and commentators from diverse backgrounds. If you feel an aspect of your personal identity is important to your participation, please feel free to include that in your expression of interest.

First drafts of rewritten opinions will be due on Friday, February 2, 2018.  First drafts of commentaries will be due on Friday, March 9, 2018.

If you have any questions, please contact Carla Spivack, at cspivack@okcu.edu, Deborah S. Gordon at deborah.s.gordon@drexel.edu, or Browne C. Lewis at B.C.LEWISnull@csuohio.nulledu.

August 30, 2017 in Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Announcing the 2017-2019 class of RPTE Fellows

PattonThe Real Property, Trust, and Estate Law (RPTE) section of the American Bar Association (ABA) sponsors a fellowship program designed to encourage young lawyers to become actively engaged in the section. The program seeks to develop these men and women into future leaders by involving them in substantive work occurring within RPTE. To accomplish this, RPTE fellows are paired with a committee chair who serves as their mentor. The mentor maintains an obligation to expose the fellow to all aspects involved in committee membership. Additionally, fellows are involved in various RPTE projects of import: writing for RPTE publications, attending leadership meetings, becoming section liaisons, and becoming engaged members of the Membership Committee are some of the tasks fellows may undertake. For the 2017-19 bar years, the following individuals have been selected to represent the RPTE section as Trust & Estate Fellows: Abigail Rosen, Caryn Friedman, Danielle Kincaid, Kelly Perez, and Jordan Veurink.

See RPTE Leadership Meeting, American Bar Association, 2017.

August 17, 2017 in Current Events, Estate Planning - Generally, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

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)

Monday, July 24, 2017

New Associate Dean to Bring Greater Awareness To Law Faculty Work

Quinnipiac_Law_TutoringJuly 1, Jeff Cooper took on his new role as the associate dean of research and faculty development at Quinnipiac University’s School of Law. He has been teaching at the law school since 2003. Cooper sees himself as an agent for the faculty and aims to “support them to make sure faculty scholarship gets all the attention it deserves.”

Current law school faculty have published a number of hard-hitting works that have found their way into prestigious law journals. Topics range from Professor John Thomas’s articles dealing with immigration law to Professor Jennifer Herbst’s research on health law and government programs. For Cooper, the ideal is for faculty to publish with an eye toward making a positive impact on judicial and academic policies.

Cooper has himself published a number of lauded works. His examinations concerning estate taxation and wealth transfer have been published in highly recognizable and noteworthy journals, and these works have been oft referenced in publications like Forbes.

See New Associate Dean to Bring Greater Awareness To Law Faculty Work, Quinnipiac, July 18, 2017.

July 24, 2017 in Current Events, Estate Planning - Generally, Scholarship, Teaching | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, July 14, 2017

‘A Concise Restatement of Donative Transfers and Trusts’ Now Available

9780314252845LA Concise Restatement of Donative Transfers and Trusts is now available for purchase. This Restatement is a joint publication of the American Law Institute and West Academic Publishing. The title is a concentrated version of the Property and Trust Restatements. This is a great resource for those interested in learning about this particular area of law.

See ‘A Concise Restatement of Donative Transfers and Trusts’ Now Available, American Law Institute, June 30, 2017.

July 14, 2017 in Estate Planning - Generally, Resource Links, Scholarship, Trusts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Conference on Central States Law Schools Association 2017 Scholarship Conference

CleThe Central States Law Schools Association is holding a conference entitled, Central States Law Schools Association 2017 Scholarship Conference, which will take place October 6-7, 2017, at the Holiday Inn Conference Center in Carbondale, Illinois. Provided below is a description of the event:

Registration is Open for the CSLSA 2017 Conference

Registration is now open for the Central States Law Schools Association 2017 Scholarship Conference, which will be held on Friday, October 6 and Saturday, October 7 at Southern Illinois University School of Law in Carbondale, Illinois. We invite law faculty from across the country to submit proposals to present papers or works in progress.

CSLSA is an organization of law schools dedicated to providing a forum for conversation and collaboration among law school academics. The CSLSA Annual Conference is an opportunity for legal scholars, especially more junior scholars, to present working papers or finished articles on any law-related topic in a relaxed and supportive setting where junior and senior scholars from various disciplines are available to comment. More mature scholars have an opportunity to test new ideas in a less formal setting than is generally available for their work. Scholars from member and nonmember schools are invited to attend.

Please click here to register. The deadline for registration is September 2, 2017.

Hotel rooms are now available for pre-booking. The conference hotel is the Holiday Inn Conference Center in Carbondale. To reserve a room, call 618-549-2600 and ask for the SIU School of Law rate ($109/night) or book online and use block code SOL. SIU School of Law will provide shuttle service to and from the Holiday Inn & Conference Center for conference events. Other hotel options (without shuttle service) are listed on our website. Please note that conference participants are responsible for all of their own travel expenses including hotel accommodations.

July 11, 2017 in Conferences & CLE, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)