Zombie Life Estates, Ghost Value Transfers, and Phantom Takings: Confusions of Title and Value in Property Law Legislation
40 Pages Posted: 31 Aug 2009
Date Written: August, 27 2009
This paper addresses a number of problems in current legislation and regulations caused by misunderstanding basic concepts of property law and value. First, in recent legislation, life estates have been treated as if they continued to exist after the life tenant dies, allowing the state to place a lien for services to the life tenant on the remainderman’s interest. Second, in many states, a joint tenant can disclaim up to half the value of the joint tenancy property when one joint tenant dies—even though there is no transfer at the time of the death. Lastly, for some time, the US Supreme Court has been making a muddle of Takings Jurisprudence based, partly, on confusing value and title. This paper argues that an understanding of the difference between value and title would go a long way to fixing these problems in property law.
Keywords: Property, Title, Value, Transfer
JEL Classification: K11, H23, D62
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation