Trusts and Estates: Implementing Freedom of Disposition

Robert H. Sitkoff

Harvard Law School

March 20, 2014

58 St. Louis U. L. J. 643 (2014).
Harvard Public Law Working Paper

The Trusts and Estates course is about the law of gratuitous transfers at death, that is, the law of succession. Lately such courses have come to cover both probate succession by will and intestacy, and non-probate succession by inter vivos trust, pay-on-death contract, and other such will substitutes. The organizing principle of the American law of succession, both probate and non-probate, is freedom of disposition. My suggestion in this essay, which I have implemented in my Trusts and Estates class and in the casebook for which I am the surviving co-author, is that the Trusts and Estates course can likewise be organized around this principle. The Trusts and Estates course is perhaps best conceptualized as a survey of the law and policy of implementing freedom of disposition. (This essay was prepared for the Teaching Trusts and Estates special issue of the St. Louis University Law Journal.)

Number of Pages in PDF File: 28

Keywords: trusts, estates, freedom of disposition, probate, non-probate, will substitutes, intestacy, formalities, will contests, construction, fiduciary administration, spendthrift trusts, charitable trusts, future interests, powers of appointment, perpetuities, estate tax

JEL Classification: K11, K34

Open PDF in Browser Download This Paper

Date posted: September 17, 2013 ; Last revised: April 3, 2014

Suggested Citation

Sitkoff, Robert H., Trusts and Estates: Implementing Freedom of Disposition (March 20, 2014). 58 St. Louis U. L. J. 643 (2014). ; Harvard Public Law Working Paper . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2327153

Contact Information

Robert H. Sitkoff (Contact Author)
Harvard Law School ( email )
1575 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
(617) 384-8386 (Phone)
(617) 812-6195 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://www.law.harvard.edu/faculty/directory/facdir.php?id=649

Feedback to SSRN

Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 1,505
Downloads: 497
Download Rank: 43,156