Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

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

Friday, February 9, 2024

Article: Estate Planning for the Apocalypse

Carla Spivack recently published, Estate Planning for the Apocalypse, ACTEC Law Journal, VOLUME 49, Number 1, Fall 2023 (pub 1/24). Provided below is an Introduction:

Members of ACTEC and of the Section of Real Property, Trusts, and Estates work on a daily basis advising clients about planning for the next generation. The practice of estate planning means helping people plan for the future. None of us can any longer ignore the fact that the future involves climate change. More accurately, the present involves climate change; the future involves more or less devastating effects of climate change depending on what we do now.

We also cannot ignore the fact that the fates of the wealthy and the poor will become more and more intertwined as the planet gets warmer. Wealth inequality will make the impact of climate change worse for everyone, not just for the world’s poor and geographically vulnerable, but for the comfortable and well-off in more privileged regions. At first, of course, climate change will devastate populations who live on coasts and islands, those who can’t afford air conditioning, medical care, and decent housing, those whose food supply the volatile climate will disrupt. But eventually, the heat will come for everyone else, even those who bought vast acreage in flyover country to escape the rising oceans or dug bunkers deep underground with artificial sunlight to grow their food—or even built floating “states” on the open ocean….


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