Book Review of Immortality and the Law: The Rising Power of the American Dead (2010) by Ray D. Madoff
Journal of the American Taxation Association, 2012
2 Pages Posted: 26 Feb 2014
Date Written: Spring 2012
Immortality and the Law reﬂects upon the cultural observation that death itself is ‘‘un-American’’ and argues, persuasively, that recent law reform has shifted an historical balance between the living and the dead unevenly and unambiguously in favor of the latter. Madoff’s hypothesis asserts that power over property interests — in the forms of donor-imposed restrictions on private property, postmortem publicity rights, rights to intellectual property, and gifts in trust for charitable purposes rather than outright bequests — vests the dead with unprecedented control at the cost of enjoyment by the living, giving new strength to the apparently unquenchable desire for immortality.
Keywords: trusts & estates, perpetuities, charity, philanthropy, publicity, intellectual property, postmortem, immortality, estate tax
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