Course Description

601:627. ESTATES & TRUSTS (2 or 3)


Eutsler, Hinkle, Hyland, Oren, Solomon




American law gives an individual substantial control over what happens to his or her assets at death through leaving a will, setting up a trust, or using other devices. (Is it right for individuals to have so much control?) This course Introduces students to some of the fundamental law relating to these devices. We explore what limits exist on an individual's control of what happens to his or her assets after death ; what happens if there is no will; what the requirements are for making a valid will and what counts as part of the will; what to do if a beneficiary dies before the maker of the will; how we construe wills; how much capacity an individual needs to make a valid will; what the limits are on pressure by others on the will-maker; what is a trust and how one might be used to accomplish an individual's wishes; how we handle attempts to disinherit a surviving spouse or omissions of a child from a will. This course must be taken before Estate Planning.