Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

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

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Article On The Effect--And Non-Effect--Of Revocation On A Will Post-Divorce

Article PictureMolly Brimmer (J.D. Candidate, 2016, University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law) recently published an article entitled, When an ex can take it all: the effect--and non-effect--of revocation on a will post-divorce, 74 Md. L. Rev. 969-1000 (2015). Provided below is an excerpt from the article:

The National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws’ (now known as the Uniform Law Commission) decision to promulgate the UPC’s revocation upon divorce statute resolved a systematic inconsistency in American estate jurisprudence. The inconsistent state court decisions regarding revocation upon divorce contrasted sharply with the Uniform Law Commission’s executive goal of uniformity. This Comment will delve into this inconsistency, with the hope that such an analysis will exemplify why state courts should adopt the UPC’s recommended revocation upon divorce statute.  Part I.A will discuss the general purpose and development of the UPC. Part I.B will then focus specifically on the rationale and objective principles underlying Section 2-804. The Comment then conducts a jurisdictional case study, with each subsequent section addressing a different type of statutory scheme.  Part I.C.1 will discuss jurisdictions whose revocation upon divorce statutes mirror that of the UPC. Part I.C.2 will examine jurisdictions that have failed to adopt a specific revocation upon divorce statute and instead rely on general revocation statutes and a couple’s property settlement agreements when probating the testator’s will. Part I.C.3 will evaluate jurisdictions that refuse to revoke any will without an explicit revocation statute. Part I.C.4 will discuss the rare occurrence in which a jurisdiction will totally and explicitly abolish revocation upon any change in marital status. Part I.D will conclude the Background Section with an edifying case study analysis of the Maryland Court of Appeals case, Nichols v. Suiter.


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