Decedents' Estates - I. .INTRODUCTION TO ESTATE PLANNING...

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I. .INTRODUCTION TO ESTATE PLANNING Estate planning functions: 1. Disposition of the property of decedent at death. 2. Provide tax planning where tax planning is necessary. SECTION A. THE POWER TO TRANSMIT PROPERTY AT DEATH: ITS JUSTIFICATIONS AND LIMITATIONS **The right to pass on valuable property to one’s heirs is itself a valuable right. A total abrogation of these rights cannot be upheld. Because the statute abolished testate and intestate disposition of the land, it was a taking prohibited by the Constitution. -the right to transfer/dispose of your property is what is constitutionally protected. There is no right to inherit. Arguments in support of the institution of inheritance: 1. In a society based on private property, it may be the least objectionable arrangement for dealing with property on the owner’s death. 2. Inheritance is natural and proper as both an expression and a reinforcement of family ties, which are important to a healthy society and a good life. 3. An incentive to bring forth creativity, hard work, initiative and productivity that benefits others. Encourage personal responsibility. Arguments against permitting transmission of wealth: 1. The transfer of great fortunes perpetuates wide disparities in the distribution of wealth, concentrates inherited economic power in the hands of few, and denies equality of opportunity to the poorer. 2. Tends not to reward merit and productivity of the recipients but the chance of fortunate birth. The dead hand: to what extent can you control property/what other people do? How much should this be permitted after death? SHAPIRA v. UNION NATIONAL BANK Issue: Is the condition of marriage upon the inheritance unconstitutional and contrary to public policy and unenforceable because of its unreasonableness. Constitutionality: Requires state action to violate the 14 th amendment, and this was not state action. Public Policy: If the condition were that the beneficiary not marry anyone, the restraint would be general or total and would be held void. The condition in this case is a partial restraint upon marriage and not a covenant to restrain the freedom of religious practice. Where the restraint is primarily one of religious faith, it cannot be upheld. Applicability of the Maddox reasonableness test: 1. the number of eligible Jewish women is extremely small (decision is not
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an appropriate yardstick of reasonableness under modern living conditions), would encourage marrying and then divorce (remote), the condition tends to pressure the son (enough time). **A partial restraint of marriage which imposes only reasonable restrictions is valid, and not contrary to public policy. Gifts conditioned upon the beneficiary’s marrying within a particular religious class or faith are reasonable. Balancing test of “contrary to public policy.” -courts will not enforce a requirement that property be destroyed. Public policy reason – impacts not the testator but others. Can destroy while living because suffer economic consequences, but
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This note was uploaded on 04/27/2010 for the course LAW 840 taught by Professor Tim during the Spring '10 term at University of Louisville.

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Decedents' Estates - I. .INTRODUCTION TO ESTATE PLANNING...

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