Distinguished Professor of Law and Judge Norma L. Shapiro Scholar
Reid K. Weisbord
Office Hours
By Appointment
Rutgers Law School
S.I. Newhouse Center for Law and Justice
123 Washington Street
Newark, NJ 07102

Reid Kress Weisbord is a Distinguished Professor of Law and the Judge Norma L. Shapiro Scholar. His scholarly research explores a broad range of topics, with a focus on wealth transfer, estate planning, and property law. He is the author of a leading estate planning treatise, a major trusts and estates textbook, and several dozen scholarly articles and essays. Before entering the legal academy, Professor Weisbord practiced in the litigation department of an international law firm.

  • Biography
  • Publications
  • Courses Taught
  • Expertise

Reid Kress Weisbord is a Distinguished Professor of Law and the Judge Norma L. Shapiro Scholar at Rutgers Law School. Professor Weisbord’s teaching and scholarship focus on the law of wealth transfer, but his research has explored a broader range of topics including the law of property, nonprofit organizations, publicity rights, and criminal procedure.

His scholarly work, spanning more than fifty articles, essays, and books, has been cited by state supreme courts, American Law Institute Restatements, and other leading legal authorities. Weisbord’s research has been published by the University of Pennsylvania Law Review, Duke Law Journal, Vanderbilt Law Review, Iowa Law Review, Boston University Law Review, Notre Dame Law Review, Fordham Law Review, Boston College Law Review, Yale Law Journal Forum, Stanford Law Review Online, Columbia Law Review Online, Cambridge University Press, and Oxford University Press, among others.

Weisbord is co-author of a leading textbook, WILLS, TRUSTS, AND ESTATES: THE ESSENTIALS (Aspen Publishers) (with David Horton and Stephen Urice), and ESTATE PLANNING BY CASNER, PENNELL, AND WEISBORD, the encyclopedic treatise first published in 1953 by the late James Casner, now co-authored with Jeffrey Pennell.

Weisbord's media commentary has been featured in the New York Times, CBS News, The Atlantic, Forbes, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Star-Ledger, Law.com, and Consumer Reports, among others.

Professor Weisbord joined the Rutgers faculty in 2010 and served as Vice Dean from 2013 to 2019. His research and service have been recognized by awards including the Greg Lastowka Memorial Award for Scholarly Excellence, the Rutgers Law School Distinguished Service Award, and the International Institute of Education Award for Outstanding Service.

Weisbord is an elected Academic Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC). He serves as co-editor of the Trusts & Estates section of JOTWELL, chair-elect of the Trusts & Estates Section of the American Association of Law Schools (2024-25), and associate editor of the peer-reviewed ACTEC Law Journal (2024-2026). Weisbord also teaches as a Visiting Professor of Law at Columbia Law School.

Professor Weisbord received a Bachelor of Science from the Wharton School and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He clerked for Judge Jane R. Roth on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and the late Judge Norma L. Shapiro on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Prior to joining the legal academy, Weisbord practiced in the litigation department of an international law firm.


Books and Treatises

James Casner (late), Jeffrey N. Pennell, & Reid K. Weisbord: ESTATE PLANNING (Wolters Kluwer / CCH, 2024)

Reid K. Weisbord, David Horton, & Stephen K. Urice: WILLS, TRUSTS, AND ESTATES - THE ESSENTIALS, 3rd Edition (Aspen Casebook Series, 2024)

Reid K. Weisbord, David Horton, & Stephen K. Urice: WILLS, TRUSTS, AND ESTATES - THE ESSENTIALS, 2nd Edition (Aspen Casebook Series, 2021)

Reid K. Weisbord, David Horton, & Stephen K. Urice: WILLS, TRUSTS, AND ESTATES - THE ESSENTIALS (Aspen Casebook Series 2018)


Law Review Articles

"Oscar Law," Alabama Law Review (forthcoming 2024-25) (with Jordan Bondurant)


"A New Framework for Condominium Structural Safety Reforms," U.C. Irvine Law Review (forthcoming 2024) (with Stewart Sterk)


"The New Undue Influence," 2024 Utah Law Review 231 (2024) (with David Horton)


"Heirs Property: An Examination of Probate Costs and the Costs of Postmortem Probate Inaction," 49 ACTEC Law Journal 113 (2023)


"Trust Law's Public Policy Doctrine: Major Policy Fault Lines, Aggressive Home Rule Legislation, and Implications for Conflicts Reform," 97 Tulane Law Review 1147 (2023) 


"Trust Alteration and the Dead Hand Paradox," 48 ACTEC Law Journal 147 (2023) (with Jeffrey Pennell)

  • Reviewed by David Horton on JOTWELL 


"The Future of Testamentary Capacity," 79 Washington & Lee Law Review 609 (2022) (with David Horton)

  • Reviewed by Solangel Maldonado on JOTWELL 


"Probate Litigation," 2022 University of Illinois Law Review 1149 (with David Horton)


"The Commodification of Public Land Records," 97 Notre Dame Law Review 507 (2022) (with Stewart Sterk)


"Probate Lending: Data from San Francisco," 169 University of Pennsylvania Law Review Online 293 (2022) (with David Horton)


"Inheritance Crimes," 96 Washington Law Review 561 (2021) (with David Horton)


"Heir Hunting," 169 University of Pennsylvania Law Review 383 (2021) (with David Horton)

  • Reviewed by Gerry Beyer on JOTWELL 


"Are There Really 'Plenty of Shapiros Out There'? A Comment on the Courage of Norma L. Shapiro," University of Pennsylvania Law Review Online (2021)   


"COVID-19 and Formal Wills," 73 Stanford Law Review Online 18 (2020) (with David Horton)


"Inheritance Forgery," 69 Duke Law Journal 855 (2020) (with David Horton)

  • Reviewed by Sarah Waldeck on JOTWELL 


"Fiduciary Authority and Liability in Probate Estates: An Empirical Analysis," 53 UC Davis Law Review 2561 (2020)


"Boilerplate No Contest Clauses," 82 Law & Contemporary Problems 69 (2019) (with David Horton)


"Postmortem Defamation in a Society without Truth for the Living," 71 Rutgers University Law Review 667 (2019)


 "Postmortem Austerity and Entitlement Reform," 71 Stanford Law Review Online 132 (2018)


"The Governmental Stake in Private Wealth Transfer," 98 Boston University Law Review 1229 (2018)


"Boilerplate and Default Rules in Wills Law: An Empirical Analysis," 103 Iowa Law Review 663 (2018) (with David Horton)   

  • Essay responses by Mark Glover and Danaya C. Wright


"A Catharsis for U.S. Trust Law: American Reflections on the Panama Papers," 116 Columbia Law Review Online 93 (2016)


“Judicial Sentencing Error and the Constitution,” 96 Boston University Law Review 1617 (2016) (with George C. Thomas III)  


“A Copyright Right of Publicity,” 84 Fordham Law Review 2803 (2016)

  • Features exclusive first-person narrative contributed by Olympic figure skating champion Brian Boitano
  • Recognized as one of the best law review articles in the area of entertainment, publishing and/or the arts of 2016 and selected by peer review for republication in the Entertainment, Publishing and the Arts Handbook by Thomson Reuters (West)


“The Advisory Function of Law,” 90 Tulane Law Review 129 (2015)  


"Trust Term Extension," 67 Florida Law Review 73 (2015)

  • Recognized as one of the top 5 Gift & Estate Tax articles of 2015, see 75 Tax Prac. 274
  • Reviewed by Sergio Pareja on JOTWELL  
  • Essay responses by Daniel B. Kelly and Alexander A. Boni-Saenz


“Anatomical Intent,” 124 Yale Law Journal Forum 117 (2014)

  • Reviewed by Gerry Beyer on JOTWELL 


“Federalizing Principles of Donative Intent and Unanticipated Circumstances,” 67 Vanderbilt Law Review 1931 (2014)  


“Charitable Insolvency and Corporate Governance in Bankruptcy Reorganization,” 10 U.C. Berkeley Business Law Journal 305 (2014)

  • Cited in the Restatement of the Law of Charitable Nonprofit Organizations


“Social Security Representative Payee Misuse,” 117 Penn State Law Review 1257 (2013)  


“Wills for Everyone: Helping Individuals Opt Out of Intestacy,” 53 Boston College Law Review 877 (2012)

  • Reviewed by Browne Lewis on JOTWELL 
  • Recognized as one the top 10 articles in Trusts & Estates and Gift & Estate Tax for 2012


"The Connection Between Unintentional Intestacy and Urban Poverty,” Rutgers Law Review Commentaries (2012)  


“The Effects of Donor Standing on Philanthropy: Insights From the Psychology of Gift-Giving” (with Peter DeScioli, Ph.D.), 45 Gonzaga Law Review 225 (2010)

  • Cited in the Restatement of the Law of Charitable Nonprofit Organizations


“Reservations About Donor Standing: Should the Law Allow Charitable Donors to Reserve the Right to Enforce A Gift Restriction,” 42 Real Property Probate and Trust Journal 245 (2007)

  • Cited in Restatement (Third) of Trusts


Book Chapters, Shorter Works, and Other Publications:


"Oscar Law: A Cross-Cutting Survey of Law Governing the Cottage Industry of Elite Entertainment Awards," OXFORD BUSINESS LAW BLOG (May 1, 2024) (with Jordan Bondurant) 


"Clarifying the Doctrine of Probate Standing," JOTWELL (March 25, 2024) (reviewing David Horton, Probate Standing, 122 Mich. L. Rev. __ (forthcoming 2024))


"Inheritance Law for Centenarians," JOTWELL (July 20, 2023) (reviewing Naomi Cahn, Clare Huntington, & Elizabeth Scott, Family Law for the One-Hundred-Year Life, 132 Yale L.J. 1691 (2023))


"New Developments in Fifteenth-Century Ottoman Trust Law and the Fate of the Hagia Sophia," JOTWELL (May 16, 2022) (reviewing The Hagia Sophia Case, Recent Case: DaniÈtay, Onuncu Daire [Council of State, Tenth Chamber] Matter No. 2016/16015, Decision No. 2020/2595, July 2, 2020, 134 Harv. L. Rev. 1278 (2021))


"Beneficial Ownership Disclosure Mandates and the Legitimate Privacy Interest in Anonymously-Owned Real Estate," The Global Anticorruption Blog (Oct. 13, 2021)


Essay Response to “Asymmetries in the Generation and Transmission of Wealth” by Felix Chang, 78 Ohio State Law Journal Furthermore (2019) (invited reply)


"Sham and Remedial Doctrines," 22 Trusts & Trustees 850 (Oxford University Press) (with Alexander A. Boni-Saenz) (July 2016)  


“Facilitating Homemade Wills” in Beyond Elite Law: Access to Civil Justice in America (Cambridge University Press, 2016)  


Congressional Statement to United States House Ways and Means Committee regarding Social Security Representative Payee Misuse (June 5, 2013)  


Book Review: “Immortality and the Law,” 34 Journal of the American Taxation Association 176 (2012)  


Contributing Author, Columbia Law School Blue Sky Blog    


Contributing Author, ABA Section of Antitrust Law, Pharmaceutical Industry Antitrust Handbook (2009)  



Courses Taught
  • Elder Law
  • Legal Education
  • Non-Profit Law
  • Taxation (Gifts & Estates)
  • Estates & Trusts
  • Property
  • Wills