Monday, February 15, 2016
Jacob Arthur Bradley recently published an article entitled, Antemortem Probate is a Bad Idea: Why Antemortem Probate Will Not Work and Should Not Work. Provided below is an abstract of the article:
Antemortem probate is a devise by which normal people with rational sensibilities may be prejudiced. Under the contest model used by Ohio, Arkansas, Alaska, North Dakota, and now North Carolina potential beneficiaries under the will and intestate succession must be notified, but the circumstances under which they are notified can leave normal families in the cold. But the contest model is not even the most favorable model for undue influencers. The other models streamline the probate process even more,11 multiplying the potential that the rightful heirs will be left with nothing.
This article is an attempt to neutralize the enthusiasm for antemortem probate as a means to solve the problems endemic in traditional probate law. While proponents claim that antemortem probate is a tool to carry out the testator’s true intent, this article posits that the statutes are more fairly characterized as a tools that complicate the system and mask the testator’s true intent. All proposed versions of ante-mortem probate have practical, constitutional, and policy issues that cannot be overcome.