68 Pages Posted: 15 Oct 2013 Last revised: 15 Aug 2014
Date Written: August 14, 2014
By tradition, gifts, wills, and contracts are formalized according to protocols established within each legal category. This Article examines the policies that underlie these "formalizing rules" and concludes that the utility of those rules depends fundamentally on the background conditions under which a gift, will, or contract occurs. Those background conditions, rather than the category into which the transfer falls, dictate the optimal formalizing rule for a transfer. In light of this observation, the Article proposes an integrated approach to formalizing rules that varies the required formalities for a transfer on the basis of situational criteria rather than the prevailing categorical ones.
Keywords: gifts, wills, contracts, formalities, statute of frauds, statute of wills, nuncupative wills, gift causa mortis, will contract, contracts to make wills, will substitutes
JEL Classification: K11, K12, K19, K30, K39
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Hirsch, Adam J., Formalizing Gratuitous and Contractual Transfers: A Situational Theory (August 14, 2014). Washington University Law Review, Vol. 91, No. 4, 2014; San Diego Legal Studies Paper No. 13-134. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2340221