Wills and Survival

46 Pages Posted: 9 Aug 2016

See all articles by Richard F. Storrow

Richard F. Storrow

City University of New York School of Law

Date Written: July 14, 2016


This Article examines the rule of lapse in wills law, discusses how efforts to reform the damage it does has led to the doctrine of anti-lapse, and advocates an alternative approach. In contrast to the requirement of survivorship of beneficiaries in wills law, I argue that testators do not have in mind survival when their wills make no such indication. I propose that we allow the provisions of a beneficiary’s probated will to control the disposition of a bequest where the beneficiary has predeceased the testator by one year or less. This rule would carry out the probable intentions of the "wills-minded" testator and is preferable to the predominant anti-lapse approach that typically favors a narrow set of the testator’s heirs.

Keywords: wills, lapse, anti-lapse, survivorship, class gifts, voidness, acts of independent significance, extrinsic evidence, powers of appointment

Suggested Citation

Storrow, Richard F., Wills and Survival (July 14, 2016). Quinnipiac Law Review, Vol. 34, No. 3, 2016, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2809600

Richard F. Storrow (Contact Author)

City University of New York School of Law ( email )

2 Court Square
Long Island City, NY 11101-4356
United States
(718) 340-4538 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.cuny.edu/faculty/directory/storrow.html

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