A Critical Research Agenda for Wills, Trusts and Estates

26 Pages Posted: 30 Sep 2013 Last revised: 15 Mar 2014

See all articles by Bridget J. Crawford

Bridget J. Crawford

Pace University School of Law

Anthony C. Infanti

University of Pittsburgh - School of Law

Date Written: September 29, 2013


The law of wills, trusts, and estates could benefit from consideration of its development and impact on people of color; women of all colors; lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered individuals; low-income and poor individuals; the disabled; and nontraditional families. One can measure the law’s commitment to justice and equality by understanding the impact on these historically disempowered groups of the laws of intestacy, spousal rights, child protection, will formalities, will contests, and will construction; the creation, operation and construction of trusts; fiduciary administration; creditors’ rights; asset protection; nonprobate transfers; planning for incapacity and death; and wealth transfer taxation. This essay reviews examples of what the authors call “critical trusts and estates scholarship” and identifies additional avenues of inquiry that might be fruitfully pursued by other scholars who are interested in bringing an “outsider” perspective to their work in this area.

Keywords: wills, trusts, estates, critical theory, gender, race, class, disability, sexual orientation

JEL Classification: K1, K10, K19, K39

Suggested Citation

Crawford, Bridget J. and Infanti, Anthony C., A Critical Research Agenda for Wills, Trusts and Estates (September 29, 2013). Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Journal, 2014, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2333242 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2333242

Bridget J. Crawford (Contact Author)

Pace University School of Law ( email )

78 North Broadway
White Plains, NY 10603
United States

Anthony C. Infanti

University of Pittsburgh - School of Law ( email )

3900 Forbes Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
United States
412-648-1244 (Phone)
412-648-2648 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.pitt.edu/people/anthony-c-infanti

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