Tuesday, November 28, 2023
William A. Drennan (Southern Illinois University Law School) published an Article in the ABA Probate & Property Magazine, Bury Me with My Favorite Toy, Part 1, Probate & Property Magazine, November/December 2023. Provided below is an introduction to the Article:
Can you take it with you? At least into your casket? Casket manufacturers now mass-produce caskets with “memory drawers” and “secret compartments” that can hold prized possessions and mementos. See Key Features on Which to Base Your Choice of a Casket, ToCanvas (Jan. 27, 2020), https://www.tocanvas.net/key. How can estate planners design and draft to help clients who want to take a cherished item along? This first article discusses potential client motivations, actual burial fact patterns, and techniques for an estate planner to address the one reported judicial opinion on this issue, which concluded the direction was unenforceable because it encouraged grave robbing. The second article, in a future issue, will focus on why this is a particularly challenging practical and legal area and describe potential design and drafting options for addressing the major legal issue beyond grave robbing—whether these directions are unenforceable under the public policy doctrine because of economic waste.