The Solemn Moment: Expanding Therapeutic Jurisprudence Throughout Estate Planning
6 Pages Posted: 24 May 2015
Date Written: February 21, 2015
Estate planning involves much more than visiting a lawyer and executing a will. Indeed, contemporary estate planning employs various will substitutes, such as life insurance, revocable trusts, and payable-on-death contracts, to transfer the client’s property upon death. Because estate planning, including the use of will substitutes, requires the client to confront the inevitability of death, it can affect the client’s psychological wellbeing.
Recognizing the connection between estate planning and mortality, a handful of scholars have drawn attention to the psychological implications of estate planning, the law of succession, and the probate process. While this prior work sheds important light on the psychological consequences of the law, this scholarship largely overlooks the role that will substitutes play within estate planning. The goal of this essay is therefore to begin the discussion of how therapeutic jurisprudence, which focuses attention on the psychological consequences of the law and seeks to increase its therapeutic potential, can be applied to will substitutes.
Keywords: Estate Planning, Will Substitutes, Therapeutic Jurisprudence
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