Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

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

Monday, July 25, 2011

Article on Schafer v. Astrue


Kristine S. Knaplund (Professor of Law, Pepperdine University School of Law) recently published her article entitled, Schafer v. Astrue: The 4th Circuit Weighs In On “Who Is a Decedent’s Child?”, RPTE eReport (June 2011). The introduction to the article is below:

In a decision with implications for estate planners, on April 12, 2011 the 4th Circuit issued Schafer v. Astrue, 2011 U.S. App. LEXIS 7456, regarding whether a child born seven years after a deceased wage earner’s death is eligible to inherit under state law and thus qualifies as his “child” to receive Social Security survivor’s benefits. This decision aligns the 4th Circuit with the Social Security Administration and a number of other U.S. courts in holding that the postmortem conception child must demonstrate that applicable state law entitles him to inherit in intestacy as the decedent’s child. Cases in the 9th Circuit and the 3rd Circuit have taken a contrary view, as has a federal district court in the 8th Circuit.


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