Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2012

Keywords

Uniform Probate Code, UPC, inheritance, children, legal equality

Abstract

This Article traces the evolution of the Uniform Probate Code's (UPC) broad equality framework for inheritance by nonmarital children in the context of the wider movement for legal equality for such children in society. It concludes that the UPC is to be lauded for its efforts to provide equal treatment to all nonmarital children. The UPC'c commitment to such equality serves an expressive function for state legilatures and courts to follow its lead. The UPC has fulfilled its promise that all children regardless of marital status shall be equal for purposes of inheritance from or through parents, with one exception: its adoption of an agency approach to the inclusion of such chldren in class gifts from nonparent transferors. The Article analyzes this one exception and evaluates the systemic costs and constitutional concerns surrounding the use of an agency theory in this context. The Article concludes that a previous default rule under the UPC was the more equitable approach and suggests a return to that rule as it existed from 1975 to 1990. This approach was recently embraced by the Massachusetts legislature in its new probate code.

Journal

45 University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform 995 (2012).

Disciplines

Estates and Trusts

Recommended Citation

45 University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform 995 (2012).

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