Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

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

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Gerald Le Van Publishes "Healthy Wealth" Book

Le_vanGerald Le Van has recently published his book entitled Healthy Wealth in Families: Sharing Prosperity Happiness and Purpose which is available on Amazon.com.

Here is the publisher's description of this book:

Gerald Le Van's book teaches wealthy families how to spot "flashpoints" of potential discord, how to organize themselves around their wealth, how to form family councils, and how to develop self-mediation skills to deal with family differences that inevitably arise.

Drawing on the new positive psychology, Le Van offers fresh and encouraging insights into family happiness, and how happiness can be attained and maintained by wealthy families.

May 31, 2007 in Books - For Practitioners | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Campus Cemeteries Growing in Popularity

A growing number of universities, including Notre Dame, Duke, and the University of Virginia, are setting aside areas of campus for use as cemeteries.  By selling plots, crypts, and mausoleums, they are hoping to raise additional funds.

For more information, see Craig Wilson, The Final Word: Colleges offer choice of major — and headstone, USA Today, May 29, 2007.

May 31, 2007 in Death Event Planning | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (1)

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Passages: The Mystery of Death - Finding Meaning in Life

The following is adapted from a message I received from Neil Hendershot:

A new book was released on March 1, 2007, that contains a multi-cultural, inter-faith collection of poetic, philosophical, & inspirational writings on the "mystery of death" and its "meaning in life." Passages: The Mystery of Death - Finding Meaning in Life is briefly described on the book's website, and a longer description of the book is provided hereon that website.

If you are interested, you may read his posting about it, "Dealing with Death: "Passages" Book".  The book appears to address death & living with ancient spiritual wisdom.

May 30, 2007 in Books - For Practitioners | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

The "Big Donor Show" or Who Gets Lisa's Kidney?

KidneyOn Friday, June 1, 2007, television history will be made in The Netherlands when three patients desperately in need of a kidney transplant will attempt to convince a living donor that he or she is the best person to receive one of her kidneys.
The three potential donees have been prescreened so they are all biological matches.  The donor, a 37 year old terminally ill woman, will decide on which person will receive one of her kidneys during a live broadcast on BNN.
The upcoming program has generated great controversy with some people asking the Dutch government to ban the program.
For more information, see Ammu Kannampilly & Fabiola Antezana, Contestants Vie for Kidney on Dutch Reality TV, ABC News, May 29, 2007.

May 30, 2007 in Current Events, Death Event Planning | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (1)

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Selected Trusts and Estates Statutes, 2007 Educational Edition

Mark L. Ascher (Joseph D. Jamail Centennial Chair in Law, University of Texas at Austin) and Grayson M.P. McCouch (Professor of Law, University of San Diego) will have their new edition of Selected Trusts and Estates Statutes available for Fall classes.

Here is the publisher's (West) description of this book:

This volume meets the needs of students in basic and advanced courses on wills, trusts, decedents' estates, fiduciary administration, and future interests, providing a selection of essential statutory provisions and official comments. From wills formalities to probate administration; rules of construction to the statutory rule against perpetuities; and prudent investment to principal and income, Selected Statutes on Trusts and Estates provides a one-stop source. The 2007 Edition includes recently-promulgated uniform acts on disclaimers and powers of attorney. It is the statutory supplement to rely on regardless of your casebook preference. With its consistent timeliness and reasonable student pricing this publication is a staple in classrooms nationwide.

May 29, 2007 in Books - For the Classroom | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (1)

Strings on Testamentary Gifts Less Common Than Thought

StringsA survey conducted by PNC Wealth Management revealed that:

Only 30 per cent of high net worth individuals with estate planning documents include stipulations that heirs meet specific requirements in order to receive their inheritances.  At the same time, 62 per cent believe it is “important that each generation take responsibility for creating its own wealth”, the survey said.

Martyn Babitz, senior vice-president at PNC and a senior trust advisor for Hawthorn, which serves ultra-high net worth families, said that this sentiment appears to be at odds with not putting conditions into a will or trust. * * *

Of those who have attached conditions to their will or trust, 77 per cent have earmarked funds to be put towards the beneficiary’s education, while 46 per cent have identified funds to be used for basic needs, such as housing.

Nearly 30 per cent have set aside funds for the next generation, while 28 per cent have identified funds for business or career-related expenses, and 16 per cent have identified funds to be used for specific charitable donations.

Rebecca Knight, Wealthy Americans do not attach strings for heirs, Financial Times, May 28, 2007.

Another finding from the survey is that "people are more likely to have incentives attached to their estates."

Special thanks to Prof. Joel C. Dobris of the University of California-Davis for bringing this article to my attention.

May 29, 2007 in Estate Planning - Generally, Wills | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (1)

Monday, May 28, 2007

Dr. Jack Kevorkian to be Released From Prison on Friday

KevorkianDr. Jack Kevorkian who was a leading force in the assisted suicide movement and who was imprisoned for his role in the death of a Michigan man, will be released on Friday, June 1, 2007 after serving more than eight years of his sentence.

The State of Michigan anticipates that Dr. Kevorkian, now 79, will hit the lecture circuit and make a considerable amount of money.  There are reports of offers of $100,000 per lecture.  Thus, Michigan intends to pursue Dr. Kevorkian for the cost of his incarceration.

See Kathy Banks Hoffman, Kevorkian's Cause Flounders As He's Freed, AP at My Way News, May 26, 2007.

May 28, 2007 in Current Events, Death Event Planning | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Teaching RAP -- Is there a better way?

MarkeyMaureen E. Markey (Professor of Law, Thomas Jefferson School of Law) has recently published her article entitled Ariadne's Thread: Leading Students into and out of the Labyrinth of the Rule Against Perpetuities, 54 Clev. St. L. Rev. 337 (2006).

Here is the conclusion of her article:

The Rule Against Perpetuities may be inconsistent, illogical, needlessly complicated, and often brainlessly applied--but it serves a purpose. Abolishing the Rule or avoiding it is not the solution. There is good policy here. To the extent there is a solution to teaching the Rule, it is to streamline and simplify the presentation of the Rule so as to avoid ridiculous applications. My guidelines for following my own advice are as follows: Keep in-class explanations and examples simple, especially in Property. Emphasize relevance, context, and connections. Liberally use analogies to familiar concepts and situations. Minimize outrageous examples, except as illustrative of absurdity. Use the whiteboard, slides, power point, diagrams, graphics, and any other visual aids you can think of to help your students. Develop a step-by-step process that fits your style and your students. Give your students plenty of problems (required, optional, or both), so they can practice. Provide some method of feedback so they can gauge their level of understanding. Finally, keep a sense of humor and hope your students do the same.

I have searched valiantly for a shortcut through the labyrinth of the Rule Against Perpetuities. Alas, my quest for that particular holy grail has been in vain. But what I have discovered is a wealth of valuable suggestions from many teachers, whose combined years of teaching experience numbers in the many hundreds. In this Article, I have tried to set forth some of those ideas so that anyone teaching this Rule can pick and choose from them. Each of us must weave our own Ariadne's thread that will help our students through this impossible maze without being gobbled up by this Minotaur of the Property curriculum.

May 28, 2007 in Articles, Teaching, Trusts, Wills | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Americans are using Frequent Flyer Miles to Support Our Injured Service Members and their Families

The following post is reproduced from the Law Librarian Blog:

This weekend, the participating airlines will match your donation mile-for-mile, from 6 AM, Friday, May 25th through 11:59 pm, Monday, May 28th. Now is the time to donate those unused miles in your frequent flyer accounts!

Operation Hero Miles was created by Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger in cooperation with close to a dozen United States Airlines in October, 2003. When started, the program allowed troops stationed in Iraq or Afghanistan to fly home on leave for free. It now gives family members of wounded servicemen and women free plane tickets to visit their loved ones recovering at military hospitals across the country. Operation Hero Miles gives ordinary citizens an opportunity to help our troops in a very direct way that makes a real difference in their lives.

The program is brilliant in its simplicity. Travelers donate their unused frequent flyer miles to the Fisher House Foundation.

Donations are currently being accepted from the following ten airlines: Airtran Airways, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines, Midwest Airlines, Northwest Airlines, United Air Lines and US Airways.

If you are interested, please go to Hero Miles.

May 27, 2007 in Current Events | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Top SSRN Downloads

Ssrn_2 Here are the top downloads from March 27, 2007 to May 26, 2007 from the SSRN Journal of Wills, Trusts, & Estates Law for all papers announced in the last 60 days:

Rank Downloads Paper Title
1 87 American History of Inheritance Law
Adam J. Hirsch,
Florida State University College of Law,
Date posted to database: April 26, 2007
Last Revised: April 26, 2007
2 52 Janis: Two Perspectives of Basis
Wendy C. Gerzog,
University of Baltimore - School of Law,
Date posted to database: April 2, 2007
Last Revised: April 2, 2007
3 51 Big Bird Lays an Egg?
Wendy C. Gerzog,
University of Baltimore - School of Law,
Date posted to database: April 24, 2007
Last Revised: April 24, 2007
4 49 Hester: A Saga of Greed
Wendy C. Gerzog,
University of Baltimore - School of Law,
Date posted to database: May 17, 2007
Last Revised: May 17, 2007
5 41 Reforming the Gift Tax and Making it Enforceable
Mitchell Gans, Jay A. Soled,
Hofstra University - School of Law, Rutgers University,
Date posted to database: May 2, 2007
Last Revised: May 17, 2007
6 35 Equitable Apportionment: Recent Cases and Continuing Trends
Wendy C. Gerzog,
University of Baltimore - School of Law,
Date posted to database: April 1, 2007
Last Revised: April 11, 2007
7 34 A Lapse in Judgment: Ruotolo v. Tietjen and Interpretation of Connecticut's Anti-Lapse Statute
Jeffrey A. Cooper,
Quinnipiac University School of Law,
Date posted to database: May 14, 2007
Last Revised: May 14, 2007
8 29 Legal Regulation of Religious Giving
Pauline Ridge,
Australian National University - ANU College of Law,
Date posted to database: April 16, 2007
Last Revised: May 4, 2007
9 12 Drafting Wills for Indigenous People: Pitfalls and Considerations
Prue E. Vines,
University of New South Wales,
Date posted to database: March 29, 2007
Last Revised: March 30, 2007

May 26, 2007 in Articles | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)