Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

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

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Numb3rs & Intestate Succession

Professor Adam J. Hirsch of Florida State University has recently published a fascinating article entitled Default Rules in Inheritance Law: A Problem in Search of its Context.  Here is Prof. Hirsch's abstract:

"Jurisprudence distinguishes between mandatory rules (which parties are obliged to follow, and hence which apply in all cases) and default rules (which parties are free to override, and hence which apply only in the event that parties fail to opt out of them). This article develops a theoretical framework for the construction of default rules within inheritance law. Its foundational claim is that the modern theory of default rules developed within transactional law provides a model broadly, if not perfectly, applicable to inheritance defaults. Transactional default rule theory suggests that by replicating the hypothetical bargain of a majority of parties, lawmakers can minimize transaction costs. If default rules in inheritance law correspond, by analogy, with the probable intent of a majority (or plurality) of benefactors, lawmakers can achieve the same efficiency. The article looks at, and rejects, other suggested approaches to the formulation of inheritance defaults, which have focused on furthering state interests or on fulfilling an expressive function of law. After setting out a basic theory of inheritance defaults, and comparing it to competitors, the article proceeds to address how inheritance defaults should be structured, and how lawmakers should go about discovering benefactors' probable intent. A final section surveys existing inheritance defaults, identifying ones that surely or likely fail to effectuate probable intent, and hence which merit substantive revision."

What Prof. Hirsch's summary doesn't tell you, is that the article contains highly sophisticated mathematical equations to determine inheritance rules.  I think he must be related to the fictional math expert (Charlie) portrayed in the new TV series, Numb3rs.


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On behalf of the Trustees and Executor of the estate of Late Engr.
Lurther Schultz, I once again try to notify you as my earlier letter
returned undelivered. I hereby attempt to reach you again by this same
email address on the WILL.

I wish to notify you that late Engr. Lurther Schultz made you a
beneficiary to his WILL. He left the sum of seven million five hundred
thousand United States Dollars to you in the codicil and last testament
to his WILL.

Late Engr. Lurther Schultz died on the 12th day of March, 2004 at the
age of 80 years, and his WILL is now ready for execution. Please if I
reach you this time as I am hopeful, endeavor to get back to me as soon
as possible to through my personal email address below.

Email: ronaldsolicitors111@yahoo.co.uk

Sincerely Yours,


Posted by: Pete James Kondoff | Feb 24, 2007 11:34:37 AM

I got the same email and they are still trying to get me involved how stupid do they think we are

Posted by: roger | Mar 26, 2007 2:50:41 PM

I also, recived some emails from them

Posted by: Abigai; | Nov 14, 2007 7:15:37 PM

I'm in Oz (Australia) and never knew anyone from the U.K. that rich so how the hell did he know me, lucky I found this web page after a simple google search. Thanks fellas.


Posted by: Sammy | Oct 17, 2008 9:13:28 PM

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